Half-baked dogma served with a heaping dose of glitchy kitsch; the creation story deserves better.

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CREATION

From the Bible BooClips series

A tawdry, bug-ridden account of the Biblical creation story.

Adapted from The Animated Kid's Bible—a series of DVDs that boasts “stunning CGI 3D animation,” according to the blurb in the app store, but it looks pretty clunky to eyes accustomed to Pixar's smoothness—this app chronicles God’s creation of the world and follows Adam and Eve until they’re expelled from the Garden of Eden. Each spread contains an image, text read by actors (each word is highlighted by a bouncing apple) and a video clip. Menu options include 3-D mode, which requires red/blue glasses and isn’t worth the trouble; translation to Spanish (text only, no audio); sign language interpretation via video; a recording option and an index. Page turns are ridiculously unresponsive and frequently trigger repeat narration. Adam (who has a physique that Charles Atlas would envy) awakens to find a sexy naked woman cuddled up to his nude body. Readers can’t see detailed body parts—though Adam’s bare backside is visible elsewhere—but the scenario is portrayed quite vividly. The serpent, curiously enough, is female, an interesting twist given the company’s stated devotion to Biblical accuracy (most major Bible translations refer to the serpent as “he” in the Genesis 3 account). Adam and Eve come across as clueless 21st-century teenagers who would be equally believable in an animated episode of Glee.

Half-baked dogma served with a heaping dose of glitchy kitsch; the creation story deserves better. (iPad storybook app. 7-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Castle Builders

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2011

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

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

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What a wag.

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DOG MAN

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

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