Devastated by the loss of their children and determined not to let any other creature die, the fish make a desperate bargain with the crows for the murder of Mr. Big, the pond’s resident snapping turtle. But the crayfish know that Mr. Big serves a purpose, and with him gone, what new horror will take his place? The Dembickis’ graphic novel started out as a series of minicomics, growing from an experience Carol had while volunteering at a summer camp. The first two stories were clearly written as stand-alones, though they fit well with the main story. There is enough anthropomorphizing to make the tale appealing to fantasy readers, enough suspense to catch the attention of those who like drama, and all the nature that budding environmentalists could ask for. The bold art uses unique perspectives, varying fonts, strong outlines, and a realistically green palette to bring to life the world of one small pond. An afterword explains about the balance of life. Recommend this to fans of Jay Hosler’s Clan Apis (2000). Grades 3-6. --Snow Wildsmith
About the Author
works mainly on short stories, some of which have been adapted into comics. She is currently writing a story about one of her favorite topics—the supernatural.Matt Dembicki
is a cartoonist and writer. He was the editor for Trickster: Native American Tales
, and is finishing work on his Ignatz Award–nominated Xoc
, a graphic novel about a great white shark. Matt is also a founding member of the D.C. Conspiracy, a comics creators’ collaborative in Washington, DC.