Cat Kid Comic Club

Graphix/Scholastic/. (Cat Kid Comic Club: Bk. 1). Dec. 2020. 176p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781338712766.
Gr 2-5–Cat Kid and his sidekick Molly are running a comic club for Flippy Frog’s many children. The kids bicker, disrupt, argue, complain, and generally behave as delightfully as any batch of after-school club members. Can Cat Kid inspire them to create well-thought-out, tightly plotted stories and classic comic art? Well—spoiler—no. Instead, after Cat Kid shows them how to come up with ideas, gives them permission to fail, and explains that any way they want to work is perfectly OK, whether it’s as a team, individually, using photos or drawings, or even in verse, the club kids produce action ninja poop joke sketches, merry mayhem, and cutely morbid comics. These delight the club but cause dad Flippy to flip out and call the doctor. Pilkey never turns his stories into kids-versus-adults conflicts, and in this one, the doctor and the nurse pause to read the comics, laugh their heads off, and reassure Flippy that there’s nothing wrong with his children. They remind him that adult creators write about death and poop all the time, and admonish him to be more chill. Bright colors and reasonably convincing kid-made comics add to the considerable appeal of this chapter book. Vocabulary stretch words such as vegetarian, ambitious, and, most important, autobiographical are scattered throughout.
VERDICT Sure to be immensely popular, this title also serves as a great introduction to the creative process and to the evolving question of “what is a comic?” Colorful, compelling, and laugh-out-loud funny. Every elementary school library needs this graphic novel.

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