Dog Man

From the hilarious mind of Dav Pilkey comes a new hero with the combined powers of man and canine. Actually, you may say that this new hero comes from the Treehouse Comix team, George and Harold, the metafictional protagonists and original creators of Captain Underpants. Dog Man is the boys’ 3rd spin-off, having also created Super Diaper Baby and Ook and Gluk (Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future). This new graphic novel brings to mind the creative imagination and humorous minds that many children have.

When a freak accident destroys the head of Police officer Knight and the body of his loyal K-9 Greg, the doctors are left with no choice but to sew the dog’s head onto the man’s body. Thus begins the adventures of Dog Man, the city’s newest hero. As he settles into his new position on the police force, Dog Man finds himself face to face with a villainous feline, a corrupt mayor, evil geniuses, a robotic police chief, and an army of cute talking hot dogs. When he is not fighting crime, he tries to impress the Police Chief, who can not stand his canine tendencies, like his propensity to sleep on the Chief’s couch and jump on top of him whenever Dog Man gets excited.

If you are familiar with Dav Pilkey, then you know what to expect from this graphic novel. It has the same childlike humor and over the top characters as his other books, as well as the same nonsensical plot lines that are reminiscent of any comedic cartoon show or perhaps a child’s imagination. And that is where the appeal lies. Children adore Pilkey’s books because of the humor and artwork. The childlike drawings work well with the comedic plot lines, especially those that would not make sense to any adult reader. The use of a bright color palette enhances the story, especially the action sequences, and it helps to keep the reader’s attention. And let’s not forget pages of Flip O’Rama, which encourage readers to create action within the comic by flipping pages back and forth, similar to a flip book. Towards the end of the book you will find how-to-draw pages for children who want to recreate the book’s characters or create their own comics, giving budding artists and writers the inspiration they need to express themselves.

Dog Man is a must have for any children’s collection within a public or school library. This is especially a great addition if you have fans and readers of Dav Pilkey’s other books. Children will enjoy the familiar humor, characters, and artwork along with little side stories about George and Harold. Patrons who have never read Captain Underpants but are looking for a comedic graphic novel will enjoy this new series as well. Make sure to add this to your collection soon because children will be hounding you for a copy.

Dog Man, vol. 1
by Dav Pilkey
Art by Dav Pilkey, Jose Garibaldi
ISBN: 9780545581639
Scholastic, 2016
Publisher Age Rating: 7 and up

  • Gloria

    | She/Her Children's Librarian, Elmont Memorial Library

    Gloria is a full-time children’s librarian at the Elmont Memorial Library in Long Island, New York where she runs a monthly STEAM program, a graphic novel book club, and storytime for preschoolers. During her free time, she is found reading anything and everything from the classics, to poetry, to the newest best seller. Her other interests include writing, online games, exploring new areas in her home state, and spending time with friends, family, and colleagues. She has also written articles and reviews for the website Cosplay, Comics, and Geek Culture in Libraries and on her personal Goodreads page.

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