November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Dav Pilkey on “Dog Man”

Photo by Kai Suzuki

Photo by Kai Suzuki

Where did the idea for the book come from?
Dog Man was a character I created back when I was a kid. I was probably about seven or eight years old at the time. He was much different back then. He had superpowers, and he could even fly.

There’s a real sense of the subversive in your book. Why do kids love rebellious, wacky humor?
I think it’s common for kids to feel a bit powerless at times—so the idea of kids rebelling, grasping their power, and owning it is very attractive.

One of your strengths as an author is creating books that appeal to reluctant readers. What’s your secret?
I was a reluctant reader myself when I was a kid. The only books I truly enjoyed were ones I could pick out myself and books that had a high picture-to-text ratio, because of my dyslexia. After all these years, I’m still making books for the kid I used to be.

Dog Man gets up to a lot of wacky antics. Which of the tales in this book was your favorite?
Probably “Book ’Em, Dog Man.” Within all the silliness is a pretty important message: reading makes you smarter. I hope that comes across.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Mahnaz Dar About Mahnaz Dar

Mahnaz Dar (mdar@mediasourceinc.com) is Assistant Managing Editor for Library Journal and School Library Journal and can be found on Twitter @DibblyFresh.

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