Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2018
The "Dogman" comic books are supposedly written by Harold and George, who are themselves the main characters in Dave Pilkey's "Captain Underpants" series of graphic novels. So we already have a weird sort of meta issue going on before we even start reading.

Here's the thing. I read and review lots of children's books, because I like and admire them, and I often find them better written and more interesting, (from a lot of perspectives), than adult literary works. (I'll take Daniel Pinkwater over Ian McEwan any day of the week.) But these Pilkey books resist being reviewed or described. They are antic and often very silly, even cartoonish. They also touch on deeper themes that are often overlooked in children's lit. Admirably, they are scalable, in the sense that there are jokes and delights for the youngest readers and yet also sly and deadpan humor for older readers. (A robot in this book has "Grape Nuts & Bolts" for breakfast. That's a sneaky funny throwaway for older readers, I would think. The subtitle for this book is a joke on "Lord of the Flies", which older readers will/might get and yet which won't derail younger readers.)

But here's the main takeaway. Every one of my grandsons has a couple of "Underpants" books and some "Dogman" books. They pick them up at school book sales, the library, on bookstore trips, or they trade with friends. The books are on the family room floor, in the bathrooms, in their backpacks, on their desks, and on the floor of the van. This one I got for one grandson because it was the latest and he just couldn't wait for his turn at the library. Something is going on here.

Bottom line? -- Since the books are funny, good humored, naughty in only the mildest of ways, and erratically independent, and since the kids love them wholeheartedly, I say "you bet!".
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4.9 out of 5
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