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Book Review: Green Pieces: Green From the Pond Up by Drew Aquilina

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In some ways reminiscent of Pogo and Sherman’s Lagoon, Green Pieces: Green from the Pond Up, is a book of four-panel comic strips that follows the lives of four pond dwellers, Iggy (a claustrophobic turtle), Radic (an annoying dragonfly), Cabby (a bullfrog who is short on legs but long on brainpower), and Roc (a rogue raccoon).

Coming in at a hefty 197 pages, this spiral-bound collection is entertaining while delivering a message about our wild neighbors (no, not the ones upstairs who party all night; wildlife!). One of my favorite comics in Green Pieces: Green from the Pond Up features two male deer who agree they are in a rut fighting over the same does. Clever wordplay is only one aspect of the humor found within the pages of this humorous book aimed at both adult and younger audiences.

Characters in Green Pieces: Green From the Pond Up were born when cartoonist Drew Aquilina was in college and shared a dorm room with a turtle named Iggman (hence, “Iggy”) and three lizards. First published in The Collegian, the UMass student paper, the strip was reborn as Green Pieces and published in three Connecticut newspapers.

Although seemingly inspired by Bambi, Aquilina has created characters that suffer from a variety of neuroses and angst. In addition to the four central characters, possums, pigeons, rabbits, crickets, and a plethora of other species make appearances.

For those who enjoy comic strips, there is a variety of humor types (puns, wordplay, slapstick, ironic, and thought-provoking) that will appeal to a large audience. There is an especially sly series of strips about a group called “P.A.N.I.C., Parents Against Nature in Cartoons” that details a lawsuit the group has filed in an effort to put clothing on the characters. Roc, the raccoon, finds an outfit in a dumpster and shows up at the pond in drag, right down to the nylons. Bettie Page, he ain’t.

Bottom Line: Would I buy Green Pieces: Green From the Pond Up? Absolutely, especially as a gift for my environmentally conscious friends. Release date: September 4.

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