cover image Sergio Makes a Splash!

Sergio Makes a Splash!

Edel Rodriguez, Author . Little, Brown $15.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-316-06616-7

Sergio the penguin isn't afraid of all water—just “the very deep kind.” But with the help of floaties, a snorkel, a life preserver, he discovers that taking the plunge isn't so bad after all. A penguin with a fear of swimming is both a comic and a useful premise—plenty of similarly haunted readers will want to laugh at Rodriguez's (Float Like a Butterfly ) sympathetic presentation, and his illustrations guarantee that they'll be able to share the fun, too. Rendered in a minimalist, three-color palette (aqua, midnight blue and orange), these mostly full-spread images each pack a poster-like punch (Rodriguez is an acclaimed poster designer as well as a former Time art director). He finds occasions for jokes (on the walls of Sergio's bedroom hang framed portraits of other black-and-white creatures: cow, Dalmatian, panda, zebra, soccer player), creates dynamic vignettes and makes even Sergio's back look expressive. One of those rare books that doesn't sacrifice child appeal in its embrace of up-to-the-minute visual techniques. Ages 3–6. (May)