Reviews /

Pablo and Splash

Authored by Sheena Dempsy
Illustrated by Sheena Dempsy
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Tagged , , , , ,

What’s better than a week when a graphic novel comes through the letterbox? The answer is when two come through the letterbox. Two, it is said, is the magic number. And that’s certainly true when it comes to lead characters in graphic novels for the 7-11 age group. I wrote a whole piece about it you can find here.

Pablo and Splash don’t differ so much from other duos, and to be honest my initial thought was how will this book stand out amongst all the others in the market. Well, I fell in love with the two penguins fairly quickly. It’s very hard not to, and even if you’re not a fan of these types of books, Pablo and Splash are hard to resist.

In the Antarctic, the two penguins live with others in the colony. But Splash is keen for a holiday away from the cold ice and snow. Pablo reluctantly agrees, but how on earth will they get to warmer climes?

Enter the polar scientists, or specifically one called Professor O’Brain. Inadvertently and unknowingly, the penguins are sent hurtling back in time, but hey, at least they’ve ended up on a beach, right? However, there are fewer beach bars and mocktails than they expected and 100% more dinosaurs. Can they fix the Timebender time machine and get home to the safety of the ice?

What I’m going to like about this new series is the possibilities of future adventures. There are countless time periods and locations for Sheena Dempsy to get stuck into. The pace works really well, and is down to the mix of large panels, full page illustrations and economical text. This will appeal to many readers, especially those who need a quick win to make them feel like a reader.

Earlier, I said I fell in love with Pablo and Splash. What makes them so lovable is partly down to how they’re drawn. Just looking at them brings a smile to your face. Splash’s swimsuit and sunglasses and mixing up certain words are endearing. And their friendship is also very sweet.

Another aspect that readers will enjoy is the nonfiction element where we learn about the Earth millions of years ago. Tectonic plates, continental drift, dinosaurs, and the Antarctic all get a mention. Although, there are some other ‘facts’ added for comic effect which could confuse the reader. I might not be giving readers enough credit though, who might very easily see the irony.

I can’t wait to share this with the children at school and will proudly put it in the library, Readers of 5 years upwards will love this series, and I’m looking forward to seeing what adventures Pablo and Splash get up to next.