Sunday, March 10, 2019

Winter Reading 2019 Hicotea (Nightlights Book 2)


On a class field trip to a nearby wetland area Sandy is exploring by herself and finds an empty turtle shell.  She falls into another dimension when she peeks inside the shell and meets Hicotea, a turtle who has created a museum-like collection of scenes from nature. During her visit Sandy also meets other inhabitants who once lived in the wetland. They tell her that there used to be much more of the wetland, but it is shrinking smaller all the time. There is also a frightening character named Livion (perhaps short for Oblivion?), that looks like a menacing black bird and is intent on destroying everything inside the shell. Livion tells Sandy, "'ll never be able to understand the universe." Sandy points out that she can always start small and build on what there is. She follows through with that idea once she returns home.

The colors in this book have been described as polychromatic, which is a good fit for the way they seem to radiate off the page. Everything is deep and rich and vibrant until Livion comes along, and with the destruction comes black and washed out grays and purples. Creator Lorena Alvarez infuses the richness of Latin American artwork into a school trip that becomes an adventure into a new and wondrous place like something from the wildest anime story. The combination obviously works, based on her 2018 Eisner nomination for the first book in the series.

Recommended for readers of Telgemeier and Kibuishi, or fans of Miyazaki's movies. I read an e-book provided by the publisher for review purposes.

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