Peach Fuzz, Vol. 1–3
written by Lindsay Cibos
illustrated by Jared Hodges
Anyone on the lookout for a sweet-natured kid’s graphic novel ought to pick up Peach Fuzz. This adorable three-volume OEL manga series is a lighthearted read for any age and would be a great addition to libraries for young readers.
Two characters dominate the series: fourth-grade Amanda and her ferret, Peach. Amanda has been begging for a pet and falls in love with a soft baby ferret, who nevertheless has an attitude. Sometimes the story is told from Peach’s point-of-view. This fluffy little critter is convinced she’s a princess and the universe revolves around her. Seen from her eyes, Amanda’s bedroom is a kingdom and the water feeder in the ferret cage is a trickle of water from a dungeon wall. Peach calls human hands “handras,” referencing a monster called the hydra, and views fingertips as scaly reptilian monsters with no clear agenda except to grab at her. It does make one wonder exactly what pets are thinking, and Peach’s thought processes are revealed in a cute, unique fashion.
Peach Fuzz has a fun cast of characters, also giving the story added appeal. There’s Amanda’s mother, a hard-working single mom aggravated about spending so much money for her daughter’s pet (but always successfully talked into it), who sometimes slips off into romance novel fantasies. There’s the hip, multiple-pierced pet-store worker, who has a different animal on his shoulder each time we see him and who threatens to call the ASPCA if someone tries to buy a cage too small for their animal. There are even the various ferrets we’re introduced to, besides Peach, because they all have separate and distinct personalities. Toys and stuffed animals are made as semi-characters; while they don’t talk, they still get ordered around by Princess Peach.
Because of Amanda’s age and the typical age-related stuff she suffers (trying to be cool in school, being harassed by bullies), Peach Fuzz can easily pull in elementary-school readers. However, it can pull in just about any age, thanks to its charm and humor. There are a few jokes aimed more for adults, like when Amanda tries to fathom what “fixing” an animal means, and believes some ferrets must be “broken” to need fixing. There’s basically something for everyone here.
Young readers, old readers, and everyone in-between can take note: Peach Fuzz is a cute and warmhearted series with plenty of laughs. There is one warning attached: It’ll almost definitely make you want to go out and buy a ferret! But that may or may not be a bad thing…as long as parents make sure their children, unlike Amanda and her friends, know how to hold and care for it right. All animals deserve kind and enlightened treatment, especially if they’re princesses like Peach.-- Danica Davidson