Pond dwellers beware! Mr. Big’s on the prowl.
Spring begins the cycle of life that continues night and day in the pond. Small creatures are born, and some fall prey to Mr. Big, a large common snapping turtle. The fish and frogs tire of losing friends and family to the predations of Mr. Big, so they ask the crows to get rid of him. The crayfish warn that there's a natural order; if the crows succeed, something worse may come along to take Mr. Big's place. Even before the crows agree to help, rumors of a giant predator fish begin to circulate. Is the fearsome fish real? Will it fight Mr. Big? Will the crows try to take over? Only Nature knows. The Dembickis, a husband-and-wife team, craft a graphic novel grounded in the natural world that explains the food chain and pond ecosystems on a middle-grade level with a minimum of anthropomorphism. They successfully tackle the concepts of invasive species (the big fish is an Asian snakehead) and West Nile virus. With a mix of full-bleed, captioned pages and splashy graphic panels rendered in vibrant natural colors, the struggle against Mr. Big will hold attention while sneakily imparting a science lesson or two.
Solid science-based adventure. (foreword, introduction, afterword) (Graphic fiction. 7-11)