Review of Fish and Wave

Fish and Wave Fish and Wave [I Can Read!: Comics]
by Sergio Ruzzier; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    HarperAlley/HarperCollins    48 pp.   g
5/22    978-0-06-307667-9    $16.99
Paper ed.  978-0-06-307666-2    $4.99

Fish (Fish and Sun, rev. 9/21) wakes up early to search for a new friend, and the first potential pal he finds is a wave. Wave starts as a nonthreatening little bump on the water, with a button nose and two dots for eyes. But then, as waves do, she swells, rising to several times her original size and crashing down on Fish, frightening him. ­Ruzzier’s illustrations feature minimal ink lines and watercolor washes in groovy pastels that bleed into each other and let the texture of the paper show through, adding warmth and visual interest to this comic for the newest readers. Each spread features one panel; the illustrations do most of the work, and the rest of the story comes in speech bubbles (one or two per panel) that lean heavily on sight words and repetition. When Wave rises again, she and Fish talk about their ­feelings and find a way to allow friendship to blossom and flourish through the cycle of a wave’s inevitable fluctuations. Unlikely duos sorting out how to have fun together are a staple of the beginning reader genre, and this story has added depth in its assertion that ­sometimes the best way to play is to go with the flow.

From the July/August 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Adrienne Pettinelli
Adrienne L. Pettinelli

Adrienne L. Pettinelli is the director of the Henrietta (NY) Public Library. She served on the 2015 Caldecott Committee.

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