Chapter book meets graphic novel in this first book in the series everyone will be talking about. Like most kids, Frankie Pickle hates cleaning his room. But what happens when his mom says he never has to clean it again? For Frankie and his unstoppable imagination, it means he and his sidekick, Argyle, can become explorers swinging on vines, forging paths through piles of clothes, and scooting past lava pits. They can perform flawless surgery on a broken action figure. They can spend time in the big house. They can even become superheroes. But when junk piles grow too high, will all this imagining be enough to conquer . . . the closet of DOOM?
Blurring the lines between graphic novel and chapter book, Wight s (My Dead Girlfriend) children s book debut introduces a protagonist as singular as his name. Frankie Pickle (short for Franklin Piccolini) fuels his everyday life with fantasy. When sent to clean his room, he imagines himself a convict: Been here so long I forget what the sun looks like, he says, scrawling a sixth hatch mark on the prison wall underneath minutes here. When Frankie s mother declares that he doesn t have to clean his room anymore, at first Frankie was living on cloud swine. But when even his dog won t go in his room and his sister declares he has the natural aroma of ripe garbage, Frankie as an intrepid adventurer makes his room so clean it made soap look dirty. Wight s b&w comic illustrations brim with action and wit a moldy sandwich turns into an eight-eyed monster and Frankie makes joyful snow angels in clutter but Frankie s tone funny without being smart alecky is Wight s finest achievement. Full of rib-tickling irony, this is a strong start for the series. Ages 7 10.