“Sprite and the Gardener” by Joe Whitt and Rii Abrego is a beautiful, extremely cute and meditative comic book for young readers who love flowers. There is something very peaceful about those pages and the drawing are just beautiful, making anyone fall in love with the wonderful bloom.
In this story we follow Wisteria, a sprite who wants to reclaim the lost power of her people and grow a garden again when she sees how happy it makes a human teen. There is not much more to the story than that, but it is enough, in a way it says a lot, and it says nothing, it is a little slice of hope in a world that runs out of time for the important things: that is for real connections with others and with nature. The messages are simple, and at the same time very powerful.
The illustrations are absolutely stunning. They reminded me of the 1920s Art nouveau posters and glasswork and I really enjoyed them. There is the thick cursive lines of the time, with over flowy lines, and those muted slightly earthy tint to temper the vivid colours of the vegetation. The blooming flowers are lush and so are the cute sprites. This is really a pleasure for the eyes we don’t see often in pre-teen comics.
I loved the peacefulness and wholesomeness of the comic. This will not talk to readers in search of action or love stories. This is really like taking a walk in the park with close family as a way to just spend time with them, because you like being with them. This comic celebrates little feelings and how those are really what makes us happy in life. And I like that this message is oriented to a young crowd, not to the more mature audience that usually gets it because they already arrived to that conclusion.
I would really recommend this comic to people who enjoyed “The Secret World of Arrietty” by the Ghibli studio, or the novel “Toby Alone” by Timothée de Fombell. A fantastic work for all ages looking for a moment of wonder with no hard edges.