Saturday, June 03, 2023

Cartoon Saturday- The Dog Knight

Whitley, Jeremy and Indigo, Bre (illustrator). The Dog Knight
May 1, 2023 by Feiwel and Friends
E ARC provided by Netgalley

Frankie is struggling with their identity; even though their mother is supportive and understanding, letting Frankie try on a suit for a band concert even though they end up getting a dress, some people like former best friend Dallas and her brother Austin are mean and call them "Freaky Frankie". After an altercation with Austin and his friends leads to Frankie hitting their head and blacking out, Frankie is taken by a Platinum Retriever she had previously seen at the mall to the Omniversal Doghouse. There, they get the Helm of the Dog Knight, which allows them to understand what the dogs say. In order to be a protector, however, Frankie must pass trials of dog qualities such as loyalty, kindness, stubbornness, an justice. Many of these trials involve defeating gremlins, which are bedeviling the school. Dallas is bothered by these as well, and in working on the trials, Frankie and Dallas come to an understanding. In the end, Frankie becomes the Dog Knight, and it seems like further adventures might be planned with the Pawtheon.
Strengths: Don't we all wish we could actually talk to our dogs? Frankie's selection of the Dog Knight is even better because their mother is allergic to dogs, so the family can't have one! The drawings are all adorable, even the one of the Yorkshire Terror, which are a little disturbing. (I also sense a bit of large dog favoritism!) While Frankie's nonbinary status is supported by their mother, there is realistic (although unfortaunate) tension at school and with Dallas, whose family is not supportive of many things. There isn't a huge level of danger, and this book sets up the basis for Frankie's powers rather than getting into too many quests. The armor they receive for becoming the Dog Knight is awesome!
Weaknesses: I was never entirely sure where the gremlins came from or why it was up to the dogs to defeat them. Maybe that will be addressed in the next novel. 
What I really think: There aren't a lot of fantasy graphic novels, so this will be popular with students who want something like Aldridge's Estranged, Steinkellner's The Okay Witch, or Siegel's 5 Worlds series.

N.B. When I read the book description to my students, they thought I was kidding that this was a real book. This is one to buy and display instead of trying to describe!

1 comment:

  1. The idea behind this book would definitely be appealing to my crowd of kid readers. Very intriguing.