Saturday, April 28, 2018

Dog Man and Cat Kid and Puppy Princess

35238109Pilkey, Dav. Dog Man and Cat Kid
December 26th 2017 by Graphix
Copy received from Young Adult Books Central

When Petey's clone shows up on Dog Man's doorstep, the super crime fighter takes him in. Of course, caring for a kitten capable of fixing robots takes some work, and when he is often late for work, Dog Man is glad to hire a nanny... who turns out to be Petey in disguise. Cat Kid gets sucked into Petey's evil plans even though he does not seem to have the same psychological make up as the evil super villain. When Dog Man's life becomes the subject of a Hollywood movie starring Italian actress Yolay Caprese, Petey is determined to sabotage it. With the help of reporter Sarah Hatoff and her menacing purse, Dog Man and Cat Kid manage to save the day.

It's hard to go wrong with giant mechaboy tacos, armies of animated hot dogs, and an absolutely adorable kitten, who even manages to look cute in a metal villain suit with razor sharp claws. Full color illustrations make this a weighty, short tome, and Pilkey's work is a slam dunk with so many discerning readers. There are several flip-o-rama scenes, lots of site gags, bopping of villains, and cheesy puns. Pilkey definitely is in contact with his inner six year old, and hits all of the things that are immediate hits with this age group.

Cat Kid, aside from being visually appealing, is a very complex creature, with a background he tries hard to overcome.  He has modified his robot 80-HD, so that it does good rather than evil, and he agonizes when Petey compels him to jaywalk and commit other acts that are "bad". I liked the message that even though Cat Kid did bad things, he could still be a good person.

Dog Man is a book that never needs to be recommended, and readers who enjoy Pilkey's other work or Watson's Stick Dog and Stick Cat series will find Dog Man and Cat Kid to be a just-right mix of goofiness and existential angst.

I have to say that as much as I like Pilkey, buying these just hurts my feelings because they fall apart so quickly. I was glad to see the character of Sarah Hatoff, since there is a huge imbalance between male and female characters in the books, and it's been the only thing that has really bothered me about Pilkey's work. Well, and the whole concept of Dog Man's genesis. Rather creepy. The stitches...shudder.

Furlington, Patty. Super Sweet Dreams (Puppy Princess #2)
May 29th 2018 by Scholastic Paperbacks
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central

In this sequel to Party Time, Princess Rosie finds out that her best friend (and cat-in-waiting) Cleo's birthday is coming up. Since the two have such a royally good time together exploring the castle, Rosie wants to find the perfect gift for her friend. She asks her family and the castle staff for suggestions-- King Charles suggests food, Queen Fifi suggests a jeweled collar, and Petal the Cook offers to bake a cake. These are all good ideas, but when the two are saying goodbye so that Cleo can go home at the end of the day, Rosie has a great idea-- the two friends can have a sleepover! They indulge in traditional sleepover activities like pawicures and sundae making, which end in rather a mess and mean that the girls need to clean up. They also run into some problem with Rocky and Rollo, Rosie's young brothers, as well as the ghost of Grizzlebone. Could the that be somehow related to her brothers antics?

This UK import shows an interest in some of the facets of daily royal life, but who doesn't want to read about a Bichon princess? The interior illustrations are not the same as the cover, which looks very much like Clarke's Dr. Kittycat series. They are still charming and show the girls having lots of fun in the castle.

Rosie's desire to give her friend a nice celebration is admirable, and her frustration at running into difficulties realistic. It's good to see that she and Cleo don't just leave their messes, but take the responsibility to clean them up.

Readers who like animal series like Soderberg's Puppy Pirates or Meadow's Magic Animal Friends will look forward to the next two books in this series ((Wish Upon a Star and Flower Girl Power) as will those who love sparkly pink books that include fairies or princesses.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I'm so sorry that I posted something about Dog Man the same day you did. I had no idea and it was pure coincidence! I didn't see this post until today. (btw, I still can see how kids love these books--they are always checked out--but they just don't turn me on)