Archie the Daredevil Penguin

Andy Rash. Viking, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-451-47123-9
Archie the penguin may have “climbed Mount Nosebleed all the way to the top” and fearlessly “tiptoed through the Leopard Seal Bunks,” but heading over to nearby Iceberg Nine for a fish fry is giving him pause. “I mustn’t let those penguins know that I am afraid of the water and the strange creatures who lurk in the briny deep,” thinks Archie as he puts the final touches on his Elasto-Launch catapult. “I think Archie might be afraid of the water and the strange creatures who lurk in the briny deep,” whispers one penguin, who has perhaps seen one too many of Archie’s invented flying machines fail. Similarly deadpan moments pop up throughout, and Rash (Sea Monster and the Bossy Fish) illustrates the slapstick action in bold cartoons whose bright colors, clean shapes, and slightly weathered-looking backgrounds feel simultaneously contemporary and retro. Panel sequences keep the story moving briskly—during an especially nifty one, Rash uses arrow-shaped panels to trace Archie’s underwater barrel rolls as he conquers his fear of swimming—and the joke-heavy dialogue should make this a read-aloud winner. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/22/2015
Release date: 09/22/2015
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