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Tuesday, June 23
My rating: ★★★½
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine
Date of publication: July 1, 2011
Age: Grades 2 - 6
Genre: Graphic Novel
Themes: pets, superheroes, villains, competition
Captain Amazing, the superhero of Metro City, is getting old and tired. He's out all hours battling arch-villains, catching thieves, and helping little old ladies cross the street. He doesn't even have time for his house full of pets. It's decided then: he needs a sidekick. Captain Amazing's four pets agree—and each one of them thinks HE should get the sidekick spot. It's a sibling rivalry royale as pets with superpowers compete for the coveted position.
I know, I know, more Dan Santat material (I'm gonna start a fan club...). But not only is this an awesome story, but it's a great book to have for this year's superhero-themed summer reading program.
The story line is fun and original, with the main action of competing pets in the foreground, while the looming threat of the evil villain and an imminent battle sits in the back. It all comes together with a fantastic boom of a climax. As for the art, it's pretty good, but you can tell that it's some of Santat's earlier work. In the end, I've already recommended it to one eager young man, and I'm sure many others would be fans of this, too.
It is a standalone novel, but it could easily tie-in to Santat's other illustrated superhero books: Ricky Ricotta (written by non-other than Dav Pilkey, of Capt. Underpants fame).
Find it at your library or on Amazon