Written By: Katie O’Neill
Illustrated By: Katie O’Neill
Published By: Oni Press
Release Date: 20th May 2020
Dewdrop, is a caring and loveable little sea creature who loves cheerleading. She lives in a pond with her friends – there is a weightlifting turtle, a musical newt and three minnows who love to cook. They are all getting ready to showcase their talents at the up-coming sports festival, but all of Dewdrops’ friends are getting really nervous about the big day. Can Dewdrop help put their worries at ease in time for the big day?
Well this is a sweet little story, with colorful illustrations and adorable characters that I am sure all fans of Katie O’Neill will find some enjoyment in. This story is targeted at the 4 to 8 year old age group (despite what it says on Amazon), as it can be easily enjoyed by the younger audience. The illustrations alone would be enough to entice them, but the short story will hold their attention. We meet Dewdrop, an endangered amphibian in todays’ world, but a cheerful creature in this book, who loves doing cheerleading routines. As the Annual Sports Day gets closer, each of Dewdrops’ friends begin to get frustrated and upset about showcasing each of their talents. Dewdrop appears to have no worries of his/her own, and so embarks on checking on and helping each one of their friends’. A sentiment that is more important now than ever. This story is perfect to teach any young child this lifelong lesson.
The main character Dewdrop, is actually based on a very interesting looking animal. Although alien looking at first glance, Dewdrop takes her resemblance from an Axolotl. Also known as a Mexican Walking Fish, this animal is also used as inspiration for the Pokémon Wooper. Its cute and simplistic design would attract anyones attention to this book on shop shelves. Growing up, I only encountered the usual sea creatures such as whales, sharks, dolphins and octopuses in my children’s books. Nowadays, we see more stories using characters such as pufferfish, newts and even an axolotl here. Animals, that although are unusual at first, spark many questions from young children as to what other kinds of creatures live in the ponds and oceans. This book could easily start an inquisitive journey into young readers doing their own research, and that is probably the most positive outcome one could hope for from any book. A child setting off down their own path to understand and research the World around them.
The creator of this book is New Zealand born author and illustrator Katie O’Neill, who is also an Eisner award winning author. This award is given to people that have been nominated for their talents and creative achievement in the comic book industry. Ms O’Neill was nominated for this prize just last year for ‘Aquicorn Cove’. She also won the award twice back in 2018 for her book ‘The Tea Dragon Society’, which won both the Best Webcomic & Best Publication for Kids for ages 9-12 categories. Ms O’Neills other works include ‘Princess Princess Ever After’, ‘The Tea Dragon Festival’ and ‘The Tea Dragon Society’, all of which have been released by Oni Press and can be found on their website.
This would make a lovely gift for a young child with an interest in sea creatures, or even just The Little Mermaid.