A fast-paced narrative infused with silliness that will keep new readers giggling and turning pages.

THE PANCAKE PROBLEM

From the Weenie Featuring Frank and Beans series , Vol. 2

Slow-witted but sweet Weenie the dachshund’s hunger creates chaos for him and his pals, sarcastic Frank the cat and gentle Beans the guinea pig.

Weenie is hungry (actually, he’s famished), but his owner Bob’s No. 1 rule is “Never, ever, ever wake Bob up early on the weekend.” (Bob’s No. 2 rule is “Always follow Bob’s number one rule.”) Confused, Weenie decides to wake Bob to explain the rules, except…Bob isn’t in his bed. There’s just a Bob-shaped lump that sounds and smells like their owner. Weenie is positive the lump is a monster that has eaten Bob. Fortunately, it turns out the lump is Bob…but after a rude awakening, he’s unwilling to make Weenie pancakes, so Weenie turns to his invention, the Supersonic Pancake Maker. However, the machine makes Brussels sprouts instead, and Weenie, Frank, and Beans are bombarded by the veggies—unfortunately, Weenie didn’t invent an off switch. The trio’s efforts to dispose of the smelly sprouts fail hilariously, but all’s well that ends well. Ideal for budding readers, this quick-moving, action-packed graphic novel features exaggerated cartoonish illustrations. Text density varies from page to page, and fun details—a close-up of Bob’s calendar, a diagram of a wiener dog’s stomachs (the better to gobble pancakes, Bob’s shoes, and couch cushions)—add humor. Bob is light-skinned; other human characters are diverse.

A fast-paced narrative infused with silliness that will keep new readers giggling and turning pages. (Graphic novel. 6-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2023

ISBN: 9780735267947

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 29, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2022

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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 Mancomics 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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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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