Crafty Chavo outsmarts the other team in an otherworldly game of capture the flag.
A group of children gathers in the park as evening falls. The group varies in age and race, and each child holds a flashlight in hand. The team leaders shake hands; now the team selection can begin. One brown-haired, olive-skinned boy, Chavo, can’t wait to be picked, barely containing his glee. As the smallest one in the group, Chavo is chosen last, but he’s just as happy anyway. Each leader hoists their team’s flag, flashlights flick on, and the game begins. Suddenly, the park transforms into a purple, pink, and blue sci-fi landscape, complete with two moons and dangerous wildlife. Both groups huddle up and plot away, and Chavo must go into the alien jungle to hide his team’s flag. But when his entire team rushes into a trap, Chavo finds himself all alone. How will he win the game? Similar to earlier series entries Belinda the Unbeatable and Andrew the Seeker (both 2017), Nordling and Silva’s latest collaboration combines play and imagination in one captivating, clever mishmash of fun. Featuring crisp, clean, and vibrant panels, humorous close-ups, and swift transitions, this wordless graphic novel overflows with delight, anchored by a likable, cunning protagonist. Chavo’s victory is never in doubt, but it’s still great to see the littlest player pull it off against the odds.
An exuberant, delightful underdog’s tale. (Graphic adventure. 5-9)