If you’ve not discovered the utter, and continual, joys of the DFC Library then now’s the time to do so. Every title I’ve picked up from their imprint has been uniformly outstanding – and I’m so pleased that Sarah McIntyre’s ‘Vern and Lettuce’ compilation is another one to add to that list.
Lettuce the rabbit, and Vern the sheep, are best friends and live in Pickle Rye. This book (ISBN: 0385619073) is a collection of strips originally published in a weekly comic format. Each page is one individual story until you start to get into the book and then McIntyre starts developing the stories over the weeks and really kicks into gear with her characters. This is a really lovely, and actually quite interesting reader experience. It teaches the reader the concept of episodic fiction but also the idea of overarching narrative and as such could be the basis of some useful teaching. Plus it would be good to share with reluctant readers as the root of any good sequential episodic art is the urge to read the next installment – and that’s something McIntyre is really very, very good at handling.
Like I said on Twitter, any comic that involves a raisins = rabbit poo joke is fine by me. Raisins are *clearly* the food of the devil and must be treated thus. But that’s the hallmark of McIntyre’s clever and funny book. It’s full of some gorgeous wordplay that appeals both to the adult and child. And I loved the calmness of the artwork. It’s sort of Cath Kidston meets the WI meets Aardman Animation. Basically it’s cute, without being sickly, but with a core of something very solid in it (seriously, have you seen the WI recently? Those ladies = awesome, and not just in the cake department).
From the anarchic, yet adorable, baby rabbits, through to Vern occasionally shearing himself to make a jumper, there’s a lot to love about this series. And this page in particular was one of my favourites. Superb. A really highly recommended book.