Maddy Kettle, Book 1: The Adventure of the Thimblewitch, by Eric Orchard (Sept. 2014, Top Shelf Comics), $14.95, ISBN: 9781603090728
Recommended for ages 8-14
Maddy Kettle is an 11 year-old on a mission. Her parents have been turned into kangaroo rats by the Thimblewitch, so she sets out with her pet space toad, Ralph, to find the witch and get her to restore them. She will have to evade goblin spiders and scarecrow soldiers, and she’ll meet a bear and raccoon team of cloud cartographers who map the skies as she sets out on her journey.
This story is a great illustration of people’s perceptions, and how they can be so very wrong. It’s a great story for parents and kids to read together, and one that teachers should be using in the classroom, accompanied by a discussion on perception versus reality, and how we judge people by those perceptions.
Without getting too far into spoilery territory, Maddy learns that her thinking needs some adjustment as she meets these “bad” characters and learns what the real story is behind the bits and pieces she knows. She grows as a person, and heads off into new adventures – adventures, I hope, that will teach us new lessons as she goes on.
There is some great art in here; kids and adults alike will be drawn into the story by the retro-futuristic artwork and the quick pacing and resolution. It’s an all-around great intro to a new series that gives kids another positive female role model, who’s also a relatable kid (Zita the Spacegirl fans, are you with me?).
Maddy Kettle, Book 1: The Adventure of the Thimblewitch will be available this Tuesday. Check it out in stores, or order your digital copy on the Top Shelf website.
In the meantime, check out some more of the art, courtesy of Top Shelf’s website.