Pea, Bee & Jay: Stuck Together by Brian “Smitty” Smith (9780062981172)
Energetic and silly, this graphic novel throws together an unlikely trio of new friends in the first book in a new series. The story begins with Pea, who longs to be the one in the garden who is able to roll the farthest. When he is taunted by a rude Strawberry and Cherry, he agrees to try to roll all the way to the tree with the red leaves on the other side of the fence. Unfortunately, just as he leaves the farm, a storm hits and he is tumbled along with the water. He bumps into a bee, who warns him of the dangers outside the farm, particularly the dangerous birds. That’s when they meet Jay, who returns Bee’s satchel to her and then forlornly walks away. When Jay reveals that he can’t fly because he fell from the nest and was never taught how, he joins their group. Now they must get Pea back home before his mother worries about him. But there are more dangers lurking in the bushes (literally!)
Smith has created a madcap race of a book. Filled with all sorts of puns about peas and bees, the book’s writing is pure silliness. After all, what can one expect from a book who entire title is a pun and likely the inspiration for the characters. However it was conceived, this is a book that children will adore. It’s truly funny, filled with friends and has plenty of action too.
The art is clear and comical. From a bee with glasses to a bird who walks to a pea who bounds across the pages. The pacing is brisk, helped by the snappy dialogue and the wildly fast moments of the story. The art works well, moving just as fast as a pea can roll.
About much more than the birds and the bees, you have to give peas a chance. Appropriate for ages 7-10.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by HarperAlley.