This book will make readers want to flip through the author’s doodle pad, in case he has ideas that are even wilder.
Dinosaurs show up early in the book. They’re in outer space. They come with wheels, so students at Astronaut Academy can race them. The school also has a time-traveling panda and a league of villains in footy pajamas. There is a plot here—something about a student being chased by his robot double—but Roman is more interested in playing with language than anything else. He uses intentionally awkward syntax (“ATTACKING is something frowned upon by people because someone may get hurt in the process”) and made-up spelling: At one point he even uses “bee” as a verb, as in “To bee or not to bee.” Some readers may be looking for a more focused plot—the author seems just to be finding his footing in the early chapters—but it’s hard not to like a school where Wearing Cute Hats is on the lesson plan. Fans of Harry Potter or Archie comics might appreciate the romances among the students. As in those series, the couples don’t get together in the first volume, but there are talking bunnies to see in the meantime. Some of them know karate chops.
Roman’s quirks may irritate a few readers, but many children will run to their own scratch pads to draw fierce bunnies, wearing cute hats. (Graphic novel. 10-14)