A winner of a tale, well-constructed and, dare we say, cute.

MEET THE HOUSE KITTENS

From the Kitten Construction Company series , Vol. 1

Too adorable to be taken seriously, a team of talented kittens struggles to prove itself.

Kitten Marmalade is a trained architect, and she has perfect plans for the human mayor’s new mansion, but the city planner can’t see past the orange feline’s cuteness. She tries to drown her sorrows in a bowl of milk at the local diner, but the human server and customers fawn over her. She does meet Sampson, the kitty dishwasher, who’s a trained electrical engineer: “No one takes me seriously, either,” he says. The two decide to form an all-kitten construction firm and join forces with fluffy white cat Bubbles, who wants to be a plumber. Humans still think they are just endearing internet video fodder, so the trio, together with Siamese carpenter Professor von Wigglebottom and a pack of strays, take over an abandoned construction site to build Marmalade’s plans. The humans working with the city planner make a mess of their building; good thing Marmalade and her crew are there to save the day! Green’s graphic novel is…adorable. Big colorful panels, some filling the page, tell Marmalade’s tale as she proves she is more than just a pretty kitty. Plenty of cat humor in dialogue and illustrations will keep young readers giggling, and many will identify with Marmalade’s plight. Humans depicted are diverse.

A winner of a tale, well-constructed and, dare we say, cute. (Graphic fantasy. 6-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62672-830-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

More trampling in the vineyards of the Literary Classics section, with results that will tickle fancies high and low.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

DOG MAN AND CAT KID

From the Dog Man series , Vol. 4

Recasting Dog Man and his feline ward, Li’l Petey, as costumed superheroes, Pilkey looks East of Eden in this follow-up to Tale of Two Kitties (2017).

The Steinbeck novel’s Cain/Abel motif gets some play here, as Petey, “world’s evilest cat” and cloned Li’l Petey’s original, tries assiduously to tempt his angelic counterpart over to the dark side only to be met, ultimately at least, by Li’l Petey’s “Thou mayest.” (There are also occasional direct quotes from the novel.) But inner struggles between good and evil assume distinctly subordinate roles to riotous outer ones, as Petey repurposes robots built for a movie about the exploits of Dog Man—“the thinking man’s Rin Tin Tin”—while leading a general rush to the studio’s costume department for appropriate good guy/bad guy outfits in preparation for the climactic battle. During said battle and along the way Pilkey tucks in multiple Flip-O-Rama inserts as well as general gags. He lists no fewer than nine ways to ask “who cut the cheese?” and includes both punny chapter titles (“The Bark Knight Rises”) and nods to Hamilton and Mary Poppins. The cartoon art, neatly and brightly colored by Garibaldi, is both as easy to read as the snappy dialogue and properly endowed with outsized sound effects, figures displaying a range of skin colors, and glimpses of underwear (even on robots).

More trampling in the vineyards of the Literary Classics section, with results that will tickle fancies high and low. (drawing instructions) (Graphic fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-93518-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Did you like this book?

What a wag.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

DOG MAN

From the Dog Man series , Vol. 1

What do you get from sewing the head of a smart dog onto the body of a tough police officer? A new superhero from the incorrigible creator of Captain Underpants.

Finding a stack of old Dog Man comics that got them in trouble back in first grade, George and Harold decide to craft a set of new(ish) adventures with (more or less) improved art and spelling. These begin with an origin tale (“A Hero Is Unleashed”), go on to a fiendish attempt to replace the chief of police with a “Robo Chief” and then a temporarily successful scheme to make everyone stupid by erasing all the words from every book (“Book ’Em, Dog Man”), and finish off with a sort of attempted alien invasion evocatively titled “Weenie Wars: The Franks Awaken.” In each, Dog Man squares off against baddies (including superinventor/archnemesis Petey the cat) and saves the day with a clever notion. With occasional pauses for Flip-O-Rama featurettes, the tales are all framed in brightly colored sequential panels with hand-lettered dialogue (“How do you feel, old friend?” “Ruff!”) and narrative. The figures are studiously diverse, with police officers of both genders on view and George, the chief, and several other members of the supporting cast colored in various shades of brown. Pilkey closes as customary with drawing exercises, plus a promise that the canine crusader will be further unleashed in a sequel.

What a wag. (Graphic fantasy. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-58160-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

more