I’ve got a cutesy one for you today that we picked up on a recent library jaunt. Vern and Lettuce features little vignettes in the life of Vern (a sheep) and Lettuce (a rabbit) who live in the same apartment building. The strips were originally published in The DFC which, according to Wikipedia, is/was a British weekly kids’ comic anthology. Anyway, the comic strips have been brought together in one edition here to form a complete story, one page at a time. Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:
Welcome to Pickle Rye, home of best friends Lettuce the rabbit and Vern the sheep. Join them for baking, birthdays, bunny-sitting and a quest for fame in the big city!
Vern and Lettuce reach for the stars, but danger is lurking just beneath their feet…
Target Age Range:
Funny anthropomorphic animal stories
About twenty minutes in one sitting
Let’s get gabbing:
While I had seen Vern & Lettuce before on some blog or other’s list of recommended graphic novel for the younger age bracket, I couldn’t remember what it was about when I came across it at the library. Lettuce and Vern live in a town called Pickle Rye where Vern eats grass in the park while fending off moles and Lettuce is often put in charge of her brood of younger siblings. The first few stories in the book, which are presented one to a page, are unrelated and serve to introduce the characters and their relationship, but a little way in the comics merge into a longer tale that relates to Lettuce coercing Vern into travelling to the city to audition for a televised talent show.
I enjoyed both sections of the book. The earlier, unconnected comics were adorable and quite funny with Vern always ending up in some baby-bunny-related predicament and the latter section of the collection presented an interesting story with some cheeky twists and turns. I also loved the few literary and pop culture references hiding throughout (in one instance the moles makes an utterance with uncanny resemblance to Little Britain’s juvenile delinquent Vicky Pollard, while later on there’s a reference to pigeons being unwelcome on buses…a tip of the hat to Mo Willem’s perhaps?).
This is a cute and funny collection that is a great addition to the comic literature for the younger end of the middle grade spectrum. The stories are simple enough for younger kids to access but there are enough twists and turns for older middle grade readers to appreciate too.
Until next time,