Publishers Weekly follows Kirkus in giving a strong review to our latest hit, Little Zizi.
Publishers Weekly: Playground politics meets penis anxiety in this unlikely comedy. “Like all boys, Martin had a zizi, and this zizi didn't cause him any problems,” writes the French author. But the school bully singles out Martin's zizi: “With such a little zizi, you can't make babies!” Later he adds insult to injury by asserting, “With your little zizi, you can't pee very far at all!” Can Martin vanquish the bully, reassert his manhood and win the beautiful, popular Anais?
Poulin, a Canadian illustrator, chronicles Martin's torment and triumph with cinematic perspectives and a Brueghel-esque feel for character and place; his burnished paintings convey both the gritty reality of school life and the fretful ruminations of the endearingly geeky hero. Wry but always empathic, Lenain brings a novelistic depth to a story that could easily have been little more than an adult's cheap joke—especially given that the pivotal event is a peeing contest.
Whether or not little boys care so much about the size and procreative powers of their zizis is debatable, but for sheer storytelling talent, there's no doubt: Lenain and Poulin are definitely well endowed.