Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cartoon Saturday- Do Not Open! (Marty Pants #1)

31371252Parisi, Mark. Do Not Open! (Marty Pants #1)
May 2nd 2017 by HarperCollins
ARC provided by Young Adult Books Central

Marty loves to draw, and is very fond of his cat, Jerome, even when Jerome licks his face repeatedly. He's less fond of his older sister and her Neanderthal boyfriend, Peach Fuzz. When Marty finds a cryptic message that claims he is being observed by aliens, he comes to the conclusion that his teacher, Mr. McPhee, is masterminding an alien invasion. With the help of his friends Parker and Roongrat, Marty attempts to head off this threat to Earth, find his missing cat, and get all of his homework turned in on time. 

This notebook novel embraces the same episodic format that The Diary of a Wimpy Kid uses, so there are plenty of random, laugh-out-loud moments. Marty gets bonked by soccer balls, envisions Mr. McPhee melting, and is stalked by a girl he rather likes, Analie. Marty's firm belief that McPhee is an alien, as well as his tortured interchanges with the thug-like Peach Fuzz, give this a bit more momentum and plot than many notebook novels. 

The line drawing are simple and engaging, and do a good job at illustrating the funnier moments-- Marty with his pants pockets full of change or his fingers bandaged, his nemesis Simon's drawing of Anemone Bob TrapezoidShorts, and Marty's imaginings of space aliens and Mr. McPhee's hidden antics. 

The most amusing part of this for me was realizing that I knew the answers to many of Marty's questions before he did, and this will make younger readers very pleased as well. Hand this to readers who want something not quite as fantasy driven as Captain Underpants but a little bit sillier than Pinchon's Tom Gates

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