An accessible and endearing graphic novel for animal lovers of all ages.

ON THE TRAIL

From the Peanut, Butter, and Crackers series , Vol. 3

Three animal pals’ bravery is tested in their latest adventure.

After loading up the camper van, Peanut the puppy, Butter the cat, and older dog Crackers’ human takes the crew camping. Once they are settled at Pinecone State Park, their human leaves the pack with the van’s side door open and a mesh screen to keep them safely inside. However, Butter, full of bravado, claws open the screen, and with Peanut, who is always up for doing whatever Butter and Crackers are up to, leaves to explore. Crackers is content to stay in the van with the snacks, their favorite squeaker toy, and a cozy sweater, but when it starts to get dark and Butter and Peanut haven’t returned, Crackers musters the courage to look for them only to find them in need of rescue. Full of humor—a scene of Butter looking around outdoors for a litter box will provoke giggles—and adorable examples of Peanut’s naïveté and antics, this tale shows that the three are growing closer. As in the previous two installments, the art is engaging. Displaying siblinglike dynamics, the trio learn that home can be anywhere your family is. Their human is seen only as a pair of feet and tan hands.

An accessible and endearing graphic novel for animal lovers of all ages. (Graphic fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-11749-1

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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What a wag.

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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 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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A hilarious but enlightening guide to the online world—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

BAD KITTY GETS A PHONE (GRAPHIC NOVEL)

A craving for the latest tech leads to cat-astrophe in this new addition to the Bad Kitty series.

With her heart set on owning a cellphone, anthropomorphic house cat Kitty plows through three solid months of chores without complaining before her owners reluctantly grant her fervent wish. Then things go rapidly downhill. She becomes obsessed with violent mobile games, gets catfished (no pun intended), divulges too much personal information online, becomes consumed with rage at cyberbullies, and grows listless from excessive screen time. Only after the intervention of a Sphynx cat named Strange Kitty and a monthlong technology fast enforced by her owners does Kitty come to understand that while smartphones are fun, they can also be a serious distraction from real life and true friends. Using a digestible graphic-novel format, the book tackles internet safety and digital media literacy with purr-fect aplomb. The “Uncle Murray’s Fun Facts” section serves as a deep dive into the differences between facts and opinions, and many of Kitty’s quirky feline behaviors ring true. It’s unfortunate that the word lame—a disability-related term with negative connotations—is used by the internet trolls who deride the video Kitty makes and posts on “ViewTube.” Occasional misstep aside, Kitty’s tribulations provide ample fodder for this instructive and amusing tale.

A hilarious but enlightening guide to the online world—the good, the bad, and the ugly. (Graphic novel. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-74996-3

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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