From the Creator of Captain Underpants: Dog Man

Our children don’t need any encouragement in the area of scatalogical humor, but here we all have been anyway, laughing through the pages of Dav Pilkey’s new Dog Man. (Pilkey of Captain Underpants fame.) That is to say–this book would not be something to read to your four-year-old daughter. Unless, uh, she had two older brothers and was already unfazed by such humor.

Case in point:

 

one-day-this-happened

 

in-my-office-now

 

Dog Man, as Pilkey tells it, is the creation of George Beard and Harold Hutchins, two comic-writing friends whose teacher, Ms. Construde, clearly does not appreciate their “disruptive activity in my classroom.” All my kids love it, of course.

The premise itself is a little more violent than I would have liked for my (or any) kids: Dog Man is born when the evil cat Petey blows up Officer Knight and his dog Greg:

Doctor: I’m sorry Greg, but your body is dying. and your head is dying too, cop.

Officer: Rats! I sure hate my dying head!

But just when all seemed lost…

Nurse Lady: Hey! Why don’t we sew Greg’s head onto cop’s body?

Doctor: Good idea, nurse lady! You’re a genius!

Here “a brand-new crime-fighting sensation was unleashed.”

Dog Man the character is about what you would expect from somebody who is half man, half dog. He battles Petey, then Robo Chief, and then a giant, walking Philly cheesesteak mascot in chapter 4, “Weenie Wars: The Franks Awaken.” This last chapter was probably the funniest and best part of the book. Sample lines:

OH look! Little baby hot dogs are starting a revolution!!!!

We’re not little babies! we’re regular sized!

(Their subsequent claim to be “gangsta” will go over kids’ heads and seems to unfortunately engage in cultural appropriation.)

A fun feature that comes up at several points is the “Flip-O-Rama,” where you can create a little bit of animation by quickly flipping between pages. At this moment I’m looking at the book’s warning: “Remember—Flip it, Don’t Rip it!!!!!!”, which happens to be right next to a newly made rip in our edition. Oh, well.

The section in the back of the book with “How 2 Draw” different characters is icing on the cake.

For how inexpensive the book is, I was pleasantly surprised to see a sewn binding. The colors are vibrant and the lettering is what you would expect from Dav-Pilkey-as-two-kids-writing-a-comic. It inspired my own kids to write their own. (Details forthcoming, or maybe we’ll just try for a book deal.)

If you’re trying to avoid scatological humor, don’t get this book. If you’ve maybe slacked a little with your standards for your kids in that regard, they’ll probably love Dog Man.

You can find the book at Scholastic’s page here. It’s also available at Amazon here. Dav Pilkey’s got his own site, too.

 


 

Thanks to Scholastic for the review copy, given with no expectation as to the content of the review.

My Six-Year-Old’s Review of Shark Attack! (Scholastic)

Shark Attack

 

My six-year-old son wanted to start a blog to write book reviews, so I’m turning my blog over to him for today’s post. Below is his review of Shark Attack! (Scholastic, 2013), including a bit of Q and A between me and him. Enjoy.

 


 

I like this book.

Because it tells me about sharks. How long they can open their mouths.

 

What was your favorite part about this book?

When the shark does diving.

What was surprising about the book?

That sharks can hear.

How can they hear?

They sense it. “Sharks hear sounds too low for you to hear.”

Who would like this book?

Me.

 

Shark Attack Review

 

Where to find it: Amazon / Scholastic
Grade Level: 1 through 3
32 Pages, full color images

A Six-Year-Old’s Review of The LEGO Movie Official Handbook and Junior Novel

Lego Movie HandbookHaving seen and thoroughly enjoyed The LEGO Movie, my six-year-old son has been reading a couple of related books: The LEGO Movie: The Official Movie Handbook and The Lego Movie: Junior Novel.

The Movie Handbook packs a lot in, both text and full-color illustrations, especially for the price.

In the words of my six-year-old, “It’s really good. If someone had never seen it, I’d say that the best pages ever are ‘Where are My Pants?’ This is an episode of a TV show in Bricksburg in The LEGO Movie.”

[Dad’s editorial note: it’s more tame than it sounds, and one of the funnier parts of the movie, which is quite clever throughout.]

Lego Movie Junior NovelHere are some of the characters in the books, as told by my six-year-old:

  • Emmet: A construction worker. He is always scared of the bad guys. He falls out of a tower that, like, goes past heaven.
  • Lord Business: A bad guy. Someone who tries to defeat the good guys. He tries to wreck the Piece of Resistance.
  • Batman: A superhero. He turns Bad Cop’s car into a baby carriage in the book (i.e., in the Junior Novel).
  • Bad Cop: A bad police. Someone who helps Lord Business.
  • Wyldstyle: A superhero. She asks Emmet if he’s “the Special.” Her hair has a ponytail on the side.
  • P. UniKitty (i.e., Princess UniKitty): She’s really cute. She says, “Any idea is a good idea, except the not happy ones!”

Here’s a look inside the Movie Handbook:

Wyldstyle

The Junior Novel is more than 100 pages of text at a level that seemed to be just right for a six-year-old. Its opening lines are as silly as the rest of the book and the movie:

Bright red lava flowed from the volcano that marked the entrance to the hidden temple. Inside, a mighty weapon called the Kragle was nestled in a glowing sarcophagus.

Here is a shot of the Table of Contents from the Movie Handbook:

Lego Movie Handbook TOC

The books tie in well with the movie, yet still leave a lot on the screen. The Movie Handbook also comes with a fold-out poster, which is now taped to the ceiling above my son’s top bunk bed.

Thanks to Scholastic for the review copies, given with no expectation as to the content of the review. Find The Lego Movie: The Official Movie Handbook here at Amazon (affiliate link) or here at Scholastic’s site. The Junior Novel is here at Amazon (affiliate link) and here at Scholastic’s site.