cover image Cat Kid Comic Club

Cat Kid Comic Club

Dav Pilkey. Graphix, $12.99 (176p) ISBN 978-1-338-71276-6

Dog Man sidekick Li’l Petey and tadpole Molly are running a weeklong comics workshop for 21 quarrelsome froggies while the frogs’ father, bionic fish Flippy, tries to enforce decorum. (Flippy admonishes the kids, “There is NOTHING funny about POO-POO!!!”—to which they reply only with laughter.) As the froggies wrestle and eventually conquer their stymied or fearful imaginations, readers are treated to the wonderful variety of their work through brief mini-comics, from pencil drawings reminiscent of the Captain Underpants series to photocomics made with broken, hybridized action figures, all with classic Pilkey titles such as Supa Fail and The Cute, Little, Fluffy Cloud of Death. Amid this riotous creativity (awards are given for the craziest, grossest and “Most Violentest” comic), there’s a lesson for Flippy, too: “be more chill,” and don’t play thought police. As wise Nurse Lady reminds him, “Look at Shakespeare: It’s all death and violence and fart jokes!” Irreverent, laugh-out-loud funny and—gosh darn it—downright moving, it’s a heartfelt celebration of coming into one’s own as an artist, with all its frustrations and joys. Ages 7–up. [em](Dec.) [/em]