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TOON LEVEL: 3
INTEREST LEVEL: 5+
READING LEVEL: Grades 2-3
LEXILE LEVEL: 450
GUIDED READING LEVEL: P
AUTHORS: Nadja Spiegelman,
DIMENSIONS: 6" x 9"
About the Book
When alien pals Zig and Wikki lose their spaceship on Earth, their friendship is definitely in trouble. In order to get home, they must travel through a farm and into a cow, picking up fun facts about ecology (and picking fights) along the way.
Nadja Spiegelman and Trade Loeffler's funny, science-based early-reader is packed with fast-paced adventure and facts about poop: what more could a young reader want?
Our Zig and Wikki in The Cow Guide contains a Lesson Plan and Student Activity Sheet to support standards-based instruction in the classroom. Our free guides are designed by a team of passionate literacy experts who specialize in classroom instruction for grades K-3.
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About the Authors
Nadja Spiegelman likes cooking, writing, and decorating her apartment with furniture found on the street. She grew up in New York City, but loves going on vacation to the countryside. Once, when she was very young, a cow mistook her bright yellow dress for a flower and tried to eat her. She's still a little afraid of cows, but she'd like to learn how to milk one.
Trade Loeffler is also the creator of the all-ages web comic Zip and Li'l Bit, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, son, and their dog, Boo. Trade grew up in Livermore, California, the home of "the World's Fastest Rodeo," an event complete with bull riding and wild-cow milking. But although he grew up in a "cow town," Trade never considered himself a cowboy - even though he does own two pairs of cowboy boots.
"When we saw the question 'Can cow poop help two friends patch up their friendship?' on the back of this book, we knew the second- and third-graders it’s aimed at would be lured in."
--The New York Post
"It’s a big science lesson on life cycles, food webs, and the ecosystems around us. But Spiegelman and Loeffler deliver it in such a cute, fun little package that it all works so very well."
--Forbidden Planet International
"The book is a captivating story that teaches children scientific facts in a way they won’t even realize is learning as they become absorbed in the fun story."
--St. Louis Homeschooling Examiner
“Loeffler’s art, with its clean lines and simple colors are easy for young children to decode. This book combines simple science information with a gentle lesson on friendship.”
"This is a hilarious way to teach kids about cows and how they eat, the ecosystem, dung beetles and what they do in the ecosystem, what flies do in the ecosystem, and how to get eaten by a cow... The illustrations and comic-book format make a book most kids will like and/or love!"
--This Kid Reviews Books
“Lots of cow facts and facts about biological interdependence are incorporated in this silly, colorful romp.”
“Loeffler’s art is terrific, with bold lines surrounding foreground figures to draw the reader’s eye. He can handle both the fantastic, exaggerated aliens (one resembles a talking TV screen) while his natural items (such as the cows) are close enough to the real world to be believable... Kids will be fascinated.”
--Comics Worth Reading
“Funny and factual, this title will appeal to kids on a number of levels... this series will continue to be one of TOON's most popular offerings and I highly recommend it, especially if you are working on adding more nonfiction to your easy reader collection.”
--Jean Little Library
"Spiegelman’s writing seems perfect for the age she’s aiming for, full of spirit, zip, and fun, yet carefully works in enough science to make this educational as well as fun. And Trade Loeffler’s artwork is cute and straightforward, never confusing the eye, always there to help these newest comic readers along."
--Forbidden Planet International
"Most second graders I know, girls or boys, will find this the perfect combination of funny and interesting."
--Great Kid Books
“Nadja Spiegelman mixes in facts about different creatures and organisms, some humor, and a good dose of friendship... this is a comic that both kids and parents will appreciate.”
--Read About Comics
"Spiegelman again strikes an effective balance between hijinks and education, giving the aliens straightforward but distinct personalities that play well off each other and incorporating an array of ecological facts in a way that flows with the narrative rather than intrudes upon it. Loeffler’s art captures animals with a simple realism and aliens with gentle humor, and gives the whole enterprise a breezy zing. The reading level, while on the higher end of the TOON Books spectrum, will not interfere with the fun."
"Because this book is aimed at early readers, the story is simplified, but the vocabulary is designed to stretch their minds."
"Combining humor with some fascinating--and appealingly gross--information about cow digestion, dung beetles and microorganisms, Zig and Wikki in The Cow will attract a wide variety of young readers."
“Spiegelman and Loeffler do a fantastic job with the subject matter, namely the standard ecological cycle and a cow’s digestive system... Loeffler’s artwork is clean, fun, and easy to understand without being too graphic, and Spiegelman’s pacing cleverly disguises the fact that while fun, readers are actually learning a surprisingly large amount of information... The artwork is crisp and enjoyable, and a science class would be hard pressed to find a better example of the ecological cycle that is so engaging.”
--The Graphic Novel Reader
"One of the really innovative and fantastic things about the Zig and Wikki books are the way that Spiegelman incorporates facts into the book, by way of Wikki's screen. This is genius on two levels. Kids in our screen oriented society will relate to this right away, and the sort of 'candy coating' of the fictional story of Zig and Wikki makes the factoids all the more interesting... Zig and Wikki in The Cow is by far more interesting and entertaining than any other non-fiction beginning reader book I have come across lately and is sure to be enthusiastically embraced by any emerging reader who comes across it!"
"This humorous mashup of scientific fact, alien appeal, and comic format makes for an engaging read for young readers... It is really the blend that works so well here. The writing is light and funny, combined with scientific facts that are highlighted with photographs. Readers learn about food cycles, ecology and habitats without even realizing it. Add in the humorous poop factor and the graphic novel format, and this is one appealing package."
--Waking Brain Cells
“The scientific facts are carefully chosen and simplified to be of high interest to kids, such as information about dung beetles, cow patties, and cow stomachs. The 'Wikki's Fun Facts' section at the back was one of my favorite parts of the entire book! Kids always appreciate gross and interesting facts, especially about animals.”
--LRC Director at The Fairmount School