Grade 4-7–Sardine is the sprightly, swashbuckling niece of Captain Yellow Shoulder, a galactic pirate who saves children from orphanages run by a costume-wearing villain (Supermuscleman). Twelve chapters each contain a short adventure, as Sardine and her cousin Little Louie fight Supermuscleman and his Assistant, Doc Krok, as well as various aliens, creatures, and robots. The artwork is scratchy and primitive, but also contains the sort of raw, grotesque sensibility that so often clicks with young readers. Tentacles, poisons, and gloopy substances are exhibited in abundance, as is Supermuscleman's rear end, and despite Yellow Shoulder's vast musculature, it is petite Sardine who usually ends up saving the day. Occasional puns and cultural references are sophisticated (e.g., a trio of clouds made from beer, wine, and rum take their names from Dumas's Three Musketeers; the youngsters play a video game called No-Child-Left-Behind-School II), but most of the dramatic situations are comical enough to be appreciated by the intended audience.–Benjamin Russell, The Derryfield School, Manchester, NH
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Gr. 3-5. Sword fighting her way through this French paean to disobedience is tiny space-pirate Sardine, all long red hair and giant blue hat, who cruises in her spaceship Huckleberry with Uncle Yellow Shoulder and friend Little Louie. Their mission: to oppose Supermuscleman, the mustachioed tyrant of a space orphanage where children are taught "proper behavior." In 12 whirlwind tales filled with comic battles and clever escapes, the heroes foil the villain's plans, exposing themselves to the dangers of space lions, ice-cream shops, and video games. The disobedience stays largely within reason, and Uncle Yellow appears to have as many rules for his wards as the space orphanage does. But Uncle Yellow is still a big, burly pirate, which makes for a free-wheeling ride peppered with as much grisly monster-filleting action and bodily fluid humor as a young reader could want. Sfar's off-kilter, slightly uglified art, reminiscent of a toned-down Beavis and Butthead, gives the simple fun an unusual punch. Jesse Karp
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This is the sort of unusual, creative,graphic work that I feel is good for opening kids minds.
Apparantly , they love it.
Here is what my 7.5 year old has to say:
"I really think that Supermuscleman is funny because he dresses up funny. Read more
Our children - ages girl age 7 and a boy age 5 - LOVE the sardine series. Sardine 1 starts as a more or less straightforward romp though space but as the series has progressed the... Read morePublished on November 26, 2010 by ljmiii