Work Title: Benny and Penny: Just Pretend
Work Author(s): Geoffrey Hayes
Color illustrations, 32 pages, Hardcover $12.95
Children's Picture Book
Reviewer: Angela Leeper
"I'm brave Benny the pirate!" announces big brother mouse when his little sister, Penny, wants to play with him. Although little sisters are not allowed on his pirate ship, no matter what Benny says or does, he cannot get rid of her. Finally resorting to calling "dumb" Penny names, he hears that old maternal scolding, "Be nice and play with your sister." When Benny suggests a game of hide-and-seek, of course never intending to actually find Penny, he relishes his freedom until he notices that Penny is not calling for him. After worrying about his little sister and then observing her stand up to wild creatures in their forest, Benny realizes that Penny is brave after all and a worthy companion for his pirate ship.
Although picture books about sibling rivalry abound, as do graphic novels for teens and adults, this comic book or early graphic novel provides an entree for young children into this popular and ever-growing reading format. Benny and Penny is one of the first TOON Books, a new line of book format comics launched by Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Maus, and Francoise Mouly, art editor...