There are two animals my second grade students are obsessed with: Narwhals and sloths. So needless to say, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to review First Second’s newest publication, Peter & Ernesto: Tale of Two Sloths.
I’ve been trying to get my students to explore alternate literary mediums and this a great example of a graphic novel suited for primary school kids. Graham Annabelle is a talented animator and cartoonist who, in addition to creating several other graphic novels, was part of the animation team for movies such as The Goofy Movie, ParaNorman, and Kubo and the Two Strings, and even directed the Oscar nominated film Boxtrolls. So needless to say, Annabelle knows his way around creating quality entertainment.
Peter & Ernesto follows the tale of two sloths and their journey outside of their tree. When Ernesto grows tired of the mundane routine of his life, he decides to set out and explore the world, much to the dismay of his best friend Peter. It’s a story about self discovery, stepping outside of your comfort zone, being a risk taker and what it means for be a good friend. The two sloths are introduced to a number of different animals which children will love and there’s multiple educational opportunities thrown in throughout the novel. While the storyline is simple and the writing is accessible to early readers, Annabelle still incorporates some humor that can be appreciated by kids and adults alike.
I enjoy Annabelle’s artwork and how expressive his faces are. The panel layouts are large and simple (easy to read and see for little ones) and Annabelle’s cartoonish, artistic style is light-hearted and perfectly appealing to children. With 119 pages, this hardcover graphic novel is a good amount of material that’s sure to be read multiple times.
Is It Good?
Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths is a great first graphic novel for children with endearing artwork and a story that exemplifies important character qualities. There’s already a second novel being published and it will definitely be on my “to get” list.
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