McCormick and Lazzell try to pass off frenetic bad behavior and annoying sibling rivalry as amusing antics and engaging character development in this graphic-style chapter book.
The focus is on family interactions and everyday activities, though the family in question is at least a little bit odd. Inexplicably, Mr. Pants, an orange cat with two distinctly different-sized eyes, Foot Foot, a smaller gray cat, and Grommy, a white kitten with a pink bow, have a human mother who sports stylized Laura Petrie hair and gives off a retro vibe. The plot focuses on big brother Mr. Pants, who nags his mom for an end-of-summer outing while whining his way through a trip to the “Fairy Princess Dream Factory” and a back-to-school shopping spree. Uneven attempts at injecting humor vary from adultcentric (Mom’s shoe addiction and Mr. Pants’ nicknames for his sister, which include My Left Foot and Agony of deFeet) to gross-out (Mr. Pants’ grungy room). Despite the graphic-novel format, there’s no sense of flow to the static artwork, which features panels of varying sizes in mostly muted shades of mustard, plum, gray and mauve with flat, spare settings and simply silhouetted characters.
Pedestrian, predictable and totally tedious, this generic effort fails to appeal either visually or literarily. (Graphic novel. 7-9)