Graphic Novel Review: Hicotea: A Nightlight’s Story

Hicotea: A Nightlight’s Story by Lorena Alvarez. Nobrow, 2019. 9781910620342. 64pp.

The girls in Sister Epifania’s biology class are heading for a nearby wetland. Curious, animal-loving Sandy and her partner Tata have a disagreement over a snail, so Sandy heads off on her own. In the swamp she meets Hicotea, a turtle with a shell that’s more like a museum, full of beautiful art and artifacts, though his exhibit about the wetland is blank. Sandy volunteers to help, but when she goes through the door, instead of a wetland she finds a wasteland. Luckily she meets a friend who shows her his refuge, and tells her the wetland’s story.

There’s more, of course, but this is short and mythical and telling more would ruin it. The drawings, and particularly the colors, are absolutely dazzling. Anyone who flips through this book will have to read it, and there are positive messages about kindness, the environment, and the power of imagination. This belongs in every library’s kids section, but put it where adults will find it, too.


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