cover image Pigs Might Fly

Pigs Might Fly

Nick Abadzis, illus. by Jerel Dye. First Second, $15.99 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-62672-086-2

A young pig’s determination to prove herself, and the tension between magic and science, drive this vividly imagined adventure, set in a fantasy landscape populated by anthropomorphic pigs and warthogs. Lily Leanchops is following in the footsteps (hoofprints?) of her inventor father, Hercules Fatchops, who has labored to devise a flying machine that doesn’t require magic to stay aloft. He doesn’t know that Lily has already created a working biplane, and after planes from a neighboring realm of warthogs appear in the skies, Lily follows them in her Esmeralda II, uncovering secrets, treachery, and evil schemes that imperil the land and expand her understanding of it. In his first graphic novel, Dye conjures a visually rich landscape that evokes the dawn of flight in the early 20th century; his aerial battles are a blast (often quite literally, when magic is involved). Abadzis (Laika) packs his story with porcine wordplay (“O Allfather Skypig/ the sky, his sty/ give us wings/ so there we might fly,” Lily prays during takeoff), but it’s the rapid pacing, intense action sequences, and wealth of skilled female characters that will stick with readers. Ages 8–12. (July)