Saturday, March 02, 2024

Saturday Morning Cartoons- Animals

Stromski, Rick. Schnozzer and Tatertoes Shoot the Moon (#2)
February 6, 2024 by Union Square Kids
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

After their adventures in Take a Hike, Schnozzer and Tatertoes are having a lazy Saturday. Their television isn't working, and they decide to spend their time writing a story. Tatertoes has trouble coming up with ideas, and Schnozzer suggests that going to the Air and Space Museum would be both fun AND educational, two things that rarely happen at the same time. Soon they are hopping on a bus and visiting the museum. While there, they see lots of interesting things, but when Tatertoes drops something and accidentally gets himself stuck in the Apollo 11 command module, Schnozzer tries to get him out. Of course, they accidentally blast off, although the capsule has supposedly been disabled since 1971. (The Mr. Magoo-like custodian seems to be to blame!) The president of the US is alerted, and NASA is following their journey. Soon, they are crash landing on the  moon, where they find a golf club and a ball, and are greeted by moon creatures. Communication is difficult, but the moon creatures make it clear that they want our intrepid Barkonauts* to take all of the space detritus with them. They strap it to the capsule, and launch it back to Earth with, of course, a giant sling shot. On the way back, the space junk makes the capsule unsteady, so Tatertoes ventures out to cut it off with toenail clippers. In doing so, he gets stuck on a passing asteroid that NASA has determined is soon going to crash into the Earth. Tatertoes manages to disentangle himself at the last moment, and his interference manages to redirect the asteroid, and the Earth is saved! 
Strengths: The best part of this was the detailed exploration of the Air and Space Museum, which I didn't realize was getting a new facade and major renovation. This is goofy fun, in an easy to read graphic novel. Tatertoes is not quite as obtuse as he was in the first book, and shows some initiative when he and his friend get to the moon. It's an unlikely adventure, but one that will make young readers laugh.
Weaknesses: The moon creatures were a little stereotypical. I was hoping for a bit more innovation.
What I really think: The first book in the series is really appealing to my emerging readers because of the bright pictures and easy-to-read text. We have had more English Language Learners recently, as well as other students who are struggling a bit with reading, so I'll purchase this one to help them out a bit. 

This took me down a bit of a rabbit hole. I lived in the DC area in 1970-72, and have fuzzy memories of visiting the OLD Air and Space Museum, which was located in a 1920s era Quonset hut! This was torn down in 1975, the current museum was built, and I visited it with my high school orchestra in 1982! I've been several other times, and have been to the annex as well with our 8th grade Washington D.C. trip. Unfortunately, these visits were not as adventure-filled as Schnozzer and Tatertoes! 

*Apologies to Greg van Eekhout who uses this term in his 2018 Voyage of the Dogs.

Venable, Colleen AF, Stubbings, Ellen (illus.) and Colleen, Marcie. Kitten Ninja
February 27, 2024 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

This was a little younger for my students, but if Cat Ninja is popular in your school, this will get younger students primed to read those books. 

From the Publisher:
"Fans of comics, and heartwarming stories—not to mention cats!—will love Kitten Ninja, the origin story of the incredible Cat Ninja!

Before Cat Ninja grew up and became Metro City’s greatest defender, he was tiny, adorable Kitten Ninja and he battled...much tinier foes. (Hey, everybody has to start somewhere, right?)

In this spin-off prequel to the enormously popular Epic Original Cat Ninja series, our favorite feline hero takes on everything a kitten-size ninja has to battle on the way to his heroic a sun spot that won’t stay put, an irresistible ball of yarn, and—every cat’s archenemy—snow!"

Underhill, Scout. DnDoggos: Get the Party Started
February 27, 2024 by Feiwel & Friends
E ARC provided by Netgalley

If you have a culture of D&D at your school that is super strong, this would be a good choice. It presupposes a lot prior knowledge of the game. It's cute, but I don't have a lot of D&D fans, so will pass on purchase at this time. This is based on a web comic. (

From the publisher:
"Four adorable dogs are tail-waggingly excited to play their favorite role-playing game in Get the Party Started , the middle grade graphic novel debut from online comic creator Scout Underhill. They've picked their characters and favorite dice, and are ready to set off on the adventure their game master Magnus has created for them.

Pickles, a rough and tumble fighter; Tonka, a playful and fun-loving bard; and Zoey, a wise and caring cleric, are given a quest to fetch a magical dog collar from a nearby swamp. But when they triumphantly return, they soon find that the collar isn't the only thing that has gone missing from Tail's Bend. All the squeaky toys in town have disappeared and Squish, the mayor's young son, has set off on his own to find them.

It's up to the Doggos to rescue Squish, track down the missing toys, and save the day!"

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