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Little Dee and the Penguin
By Christopher Baldwin
April 5, 2016
Graphic novel fans will love this hilarious animal adventure by webcomic creator Christopher Baldwin—perfect for readers of Dan Santat’s Sidekicks, Ben Hatke’s Zita the Spacegirl, and Berkeley Breathed’s Bloom County
When Little Dee meets a motley crew of animals deep in the forest, she knows she’s found the perfect set of new friends. Between the bossy vulture, the slightly dim dog, the nurturing bear, and the happy-go-lucky penguin, this mismatched group of big personalities doesn’t always get along—but they’re a family.
And they’re on the run. A pair of hungry polar bears are after the penguin, and the rest of the team are determined to protect her. They’re not interested in adopting a tiny human. But Dee loves them—especially Ted the bear—and she won't let them go. Instead, she hops on their getaway plane and joins them on an around-the-world adventure.
This hilarious and heartwarming story is the perfect addition to any graphic novel reader’s library.
What three words best describe your graphic novel, Little Dee and the Penguin?
Funny. Adventurous. Heartwarming.
Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers, especially reluctant readers, to give Little Dee and the Penguin a try?
Little Dee and the Penguin is funny, adventurous, and the vulture is kind of a jerk in all the fun ways.
What inspired Little Dee and the Penguin? How did the idea come to be?
The characters were doodles I'd been noodling with for years, and then I created a daily newspaper strip which brought them all together and allowed them to develop for years before finally creating a graphic novel featuring the same charcaters I'd come to know and love.
Can you tell us a bit about your heroine, Dee? What makes her unique, what do you love about her?
She's a series of contradictions. In a world of animals she is the only one who DOESN'T talk. She is gentle and caring while also being smart, strong-headed. And she has the biggest heart EVER.
Dee meets and travels with some animal companions...what kind of animals companions would you want for an epic adventure?
Personally? I would love a dog. A cat might be tempting, but they can too easily run off and get lost which makes everyone sad. But dogs are so loving and such good companions. An elephant would be a close second.
What is your all time favorite middle-grade book and/or character?
Tiffany Aching from the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett.
What do you love about writing middle-grade graphic novels? Why do you think middle-grade literature is so popular and important?
The middle-grade audience is such a lovely one. They can still let loose and enjoy silliness and fun artwork, but are entirely able to understand more complex ideas and language. As to its importance, I simply find reading to be important, and so having books for all age groups is a vital in that. Also, middle-grade is a big stage of developing personhood, and so having a lot of new and fresh ideas is great!
Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at writing letters to friends.
I’m really embarrassed to admit how many cookies I eat.
The last great book I read was Nicholas Nickleby.
If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Little Dee and the Penguin, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
The cake portion would be dulce de leche with caramel filling and butterscotch frosting and lots of multi-colored sprinkles. It would be called the Golden Landslide of Sugar Rush Mountain.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher Baldwin was born in Greenfield, MA, and started drawing comic strips around age 5, comic books around age 12, and webcomics in 1996. He’s a regular contributor to Mad magazine, as well as an illustrator for educational children’s books and newspaper serials. He also paints and cooks a mean pan of penuche fudge.
Win a hardcover copy of
Little Dee and the Penguin!