Thursday, August 30, 2018

Review: Dog Man Lord of the Fleas by Dav Pilkey

Dog Man Lord of the Fleas by Dav Pilkey. 256 p. Graphix/ Scholastic Inc., August 28, 2018. 9780545935173. (Review of purchased copy.)

Well, regular readers of my humble blog can skip my Saturday, "What's New? Stacking the Shelves" post. I picked this up at a little indie on the island called The Bookworm, set Saturday's post up and ended up diving right in instead of reading from my bag of beach reading.

No offense to this amazing pile of books. I have actually read about 10 off the pile already and will read each and every one over the next week (or two) with the attention they deserve. Come on, Dog Man! How could I resist bumping it to the top?

Stacking posts usually contain the publisher synopsis, which I copy and paste; but Dog Man #5 had nothing. Didn't need no publisher synopsis! Hey! It's Dog Man. Dog Man = automatic purchase of multiple copies for me and most libraries. Since I was spending my own money instead of my school's, I just bought one.

A new Dog Man needs no reviews either. Nothing I write will add to or detract from sales. I write out of sheer love and gratitude for Dav Pilkey's genius. I thank Dav Pilkey for giving dormant readers a place to thrive. I thank him for making all readers laugh and not take things too seriously. As a teacher, I thank him for the reminder that those "difficult" kids need affection, attention and respect. 

So, Dog Man, Cat Kid and 80-HD are happily cohabiting, inventing, eating and playing at superheroes when Kitty Protective Services comes calling and removes Cat Kid from the home. Cat Kid is not fooled though. Petey has broken out of prison yet again, disguised himself and is determined to prove to Cat Kid that he's a real bad guy. He reveals a trauma from his childhood (the Lord of the Flies reference) that has defined who he is today; but Cat Kid still insists that there is good in Petey and peppers him with "knock-knock jokes."

The story zigs and zags all over the place. Energetic colorful panels zig and zag as well. Flip-o-ramas add interest and will stress the pages of well-worn library copies. A coda assures readers that the next Dog Man adventure is in the works, Dog Man Brawl of the Wild. As usual, Pilkey shares tips on how to draw his characters in ridiculously easy steps. Notes inform readers of literature that inspired parts of this book. The final pages are a kind of graphic PSA about the benefits of reading, reading aloud to your kid and a wonderful program where children read aloud to animals. 

The series remains fresh and funny and surely a must-purchase addition to any library.

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