“It’s important for us to use our voices to protect the lives and homes of creatures who don’t have a voice themselves” — Dewdrop, backmatter
|Creator(s)||K. O’Neill (author and illustrator)|
|Genre||Animal Comic, Fantasy|
|Environmental Themes and Issues||Anthropomorphism, Pollution, Habitat Destruction, Animals in Danger, Invasive Species, Educational Nature Facts|
|Protagonist’s Identity||Nonhuman (Animal)|
|Protagonist’s Level of Environmental Agency||Level 1: No Acknowledgement of Environmental Issues|
|Target Audience||Children (6 to 9 years)|
|Settings||Pond. Wild axolotls only live in Mexico, but the comic does not specify the setting|
K. O’Neill’s Dewdrop comic centers on Dewdrop, a pink axolotl, and his aquatic friends as they prepare for the Sports Fair. Throughout the short comic, O’Neill anthropomorphizes the animals: they talk, they play guitar and lift weights, and some of them wear articles of clothing, such as chef’s hats. Dewdrop perfects his cheerleading routine, and he encourages Mia the yellow-bellied slider to enter a weight-lifting competition. He also helps a group of minnows gain the confidence to cook for the fair attendees. The comic concludes on the day of the Sports Fair as Mia sets a personal record and Dewdrop and his friends have a celebratory picnic.
The comic’s primary narrative does not mention any environmental issues. However, a paratextual note lists some of the threats to axolotls and other aquatic animals, such as pollution, the draining of ponds to build housing, and the introduction of invasive species. O’Neill encourages children to get involved in environmental conservation, writing, “To help, you can learn about which species are native to waterways near your–meaning they are meant to live there. You can support local conservation projects by visiting them, donating, and telling people how important they are. Sometimes they need volunteers to replant or rebuild an area, so you can help that way too” (Backmatter). The paratext also includes facts about the animals featured in the primary narrative, including axolotls, yellow-bellied sliders, newts, and minnows.
Alverson, Brigid. “Comic-Con News: Katie O’Neill Announces Dewdrop.” School Library Journal, 19 July 2019, https://blogs.slj.com/goodcomicsforkids/2019/07/19/comic-con-news-katie-oneill-announces-dewdrop/.