cover image Peter and Ernesto

Peter and Ernesto

Graham Annable. First Second, $17.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-62672-561-4

In a graphic novel–style story for young readers, Ernesto and Peter, two skinny, wide-eyed sloths, love to spot animal shapes in the clouds above the rainforest, but the extroverted Ernesto wants more: “I want to see ALL of the sky!” He takes off, dashing across a swinging bridge, splashing across a river, reaching the sea, and befriending a whale. Left behind, Peter is aghast: “He could get eaten.” After some anguished indecision, he sets out to bring Ernesto back. He’s terrified by the bridge Ernesto skipped over, and by almost everything else he encounters, but he gathers courage little by little, singing as he goes (“Did you find all the sky? I wish I could know!”). Working in multipanel sequences and individual frames, Annable bounces between the ebullient Ernesto and the worrywart Peter, rendering each with equal affection. Peter comes to understand that his friendship with Ernesto is strong enough to withstand his absence, but it’s still a thrill when they are reunited. Annable’s gift for caricature and zippy dialogue shines through, as he celebrates his characters’ contrasting temperaments without a hint of snark. Ages 6–10. [em](Apr.) [/em]