22 Oct Decoding Fun and Friendship
by Nitoy Gonzales
A secret code. A secret group. A new friend (or foe?). No, it is not a Dan Brown novel. It is the new children’s novel by writer Xi Zuq, illustrated by Al Estrella.
The prequel to his previous book titled Supremo, Pangkat Papaya is written in diary-style. The story follows the adventure of Andro and his best buddy, Miyo, where they get involved in the mystery of “Clubs Day.” One day, while staring at a poster, Andro noticed a secret code and set to find what it meant. A new classmate in the form of Louis joins him in a secret club. Any guesses as to what Andro and Miyo found out? (Read the book! *wink*)
Up in the clouds
What I love about this book is the witty dialogue between Andro and Miyo that I found myself always wanting to read their conversations. The codes Andro tried to decode were also a lot of fun since the words were funny and silly to pronounce.
As for the art, it is superbly done. Not because I am a fan of Al Estrella but trust me when I say that when he does the illustrations, he just nails it. Sometimes, his art is so good it brought the surprise punch of hilarious.
But you might ask, “Do I have to buy Supremo to understand Pangkat Papaya?” No and yes.
No, because this is a stand-alone book (although it has some sort of “origin” sub stories found in Supremo). But also, yes, because the two books are awesome, exciting reads.
Blink and you still won’t miss it
I don’t know if it was just me or the pace of the story, but it took me a couple of pages before I got into Pangkat Papaya mode.
Pangkat Papaya is a great book that highlights the value of honesty, friendship and belonging. The story has a heartwarming ending that will probably make you running to your brad, BFF, etc. If you’re tired of those “popular” fantasy and magic stuff on those children’s lit shelves, here is something fresh, funny and Filipino.