Gillbert #4: The Island of the Orange Turtles by Art Baltazar

The latest installment of this cute, kid-friendly comics series picks up soon after the events of the last book. Which, wow, came out two years ago! Time certainly flies!

Interestingly, I feel that Art Baltazar’s style for this book has grown to take on a subtly more sophisticated cast in the intervening years. The art has definitely been my favorite part of the series so far, with its delightful brights and pastels, and adorable, whimsical line work. This issue’s art blends especially well with the story, as Gillbert and his best friend Anne Phibian fulfil a promise to their friend Sherbert to visit the Island of the Orange Turtles, where Sherbert’s family is from.

Our trio is unaware, however, that they’re being shadowed, by those with perhaps nefarious intent. Luckily, several of the adults in their lives, including Doctor Wayne, are alert to their pursuers, and have several tricks up their own sleeves in order to ensure that peace is maintained in their oceanic realm. Along the way, they’ll all learn a little more about orange turtles (as well as color theory,) in addition to reaffirming the power of both family and friendship.

This was another super cute installment of the series, with an easy-to-read story that was also much more accessible than the last issue’s, I felt. Ofc, my eldest child had a different opinion on that; alas that I couldn’t get his thoughts on this book as well. I’ll give this to him to read at his leisure, but we haven’t been able to get our schedules to match in order to buddy read this properly. He’s certainly busier as a fifth grader than he was when we read the previous issue together in the third grade!

Not that I’m complaining (much.) Going back to this volume, it’s a quick read for adults and an engrossing, colorful read for kids. You don’t have to know a lot, or even anything, about what happened in the prior books in order to enjoy the charmingly weird, mostly aquatic adventures here. Mr Baltazar is, after all, the creative force behind Itty Bitty Hellboy, Young Justice and Tiny Titans, which also blended cute, heroic and odd in equal amounts. Gillbert #4 is well worth the wait for fans of both this series and its creator.

Gillbert #4: The Island of the Orange Turtles by Art Baltazar was published May 3 2022 and is available from all good booksellers, including

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