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by Kevin O'Malley & illustrated by Kevin O'Malley

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8075-0504-5
Publisher: Whitman

A tongue-in-cheek history of backpacks from prehistory to the 21st century kicks off O’Malley’s comics-inspired collection of four short tales. Apparently backpacks were first invented by Roscoe the caveman, who slung a fur pouch on his back with disastrous results: His friends beat him, thinking he was being attacked by a beaver. In “Volcano,” Brendan can’t get his volcano to erupt for the science fair, but the right mix of mess in his backpack (secret ingredient: one hairy piece of candy) makes it explode and earns him an A. Then Ashley is on her way to another boring day at school when three disasters strike. She turns into Jet Super Backpack Girl and saves the day. Then in “Day of the Living Backpack,” Captain Cable, a boy watching television before school, keeps putting things in his backpack, which just makes it hungrier. When it tries to eat his TV set, he shows it who’s boss. The panel illustrations for each story vary accordingly and aptly in style, size and medium. A pleasing diversion for anyone who’s ever lugged a zillion-pound backpack. (Picture book. 7-10)