kids are animals, librarians are birds

Mr. Wolf’s Class by Aron Nels Steinke. Scholastic Graphix, 2018. 9781338047691. 160pp.

I think I first bought one of Steinke’s self-published minicomics 7 or 8 years ago, back when the Stumptown Comics Fest was still its own thing in Portland. His comics then and since have a genuine good-natured quality, and I really admire how upbeat they are. This is no exception.

Mr. Wolf is a new teacher at his elementary school, and none of his 17 students (each a different species of anthropomorphized animal) is more excited than Margot (a rabbit), who just moved to the neighborhood. On the bus she meets a little slug guy. Sampson (a frog) gets a slightly nasty note and then in trouble for running (to go to the bathroom). There’s some discussions of palindromes brought on by Aziza’s name (she’s a duck who wears a headscarf). And they take a trip to the library where the librarian, Mrs. Bird, checks out books while wearing her fancy red cowboy boots. After a student decides to take a nap in a box, there’s a bit of excitement when everyone searches for her. There’s a brain in a jar, and sharing. By the end of the book it’s clear they’re all pretty good kids, and that they’re in good hands.

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