Children’s literature is rekindled about every two years or so by a new release. Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man is the newest member of this exclusive club, and kids (and parents) all over the world are on the lookout for more books like Dog Man.
One of my children is a huge fan of the show. My husband and I recently made our first trip to a new local bookstore. I gave him permission to go to the children’s section so that I could go shopping with a friend.. Leaving, I saw a display for Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls, the latest in the series. “I wonder how long it will take for him to notice?” I quipped to her.
Five minutes later, I heard a gasp and the words “MOM!!” coming from the other side of the store.
Every Dog Man book my son has read (yes, we have them all) can be recited word for word by my son. When he sees a new book in a bookstore, he gets really excited. The moment he sees it, he holds it tight in his hands and won’t let go until the cashier scans it (begrudgingly).
Be forewarned that it contains a fair amount of potty humor. There are, however, lessons to be learned about remaining true to oneself. You should also avoid letting someone else’s opinion or perception influence your character. Even in the face of adversity, it teaches us that we have the power to improve ourselves.
During the holiday season, you may be looking for books like Dog Man to give as presents. I’ve included a few titles you might want to consider putting under your child’s Christmas tree.
Big Nate: In a Class By Himself by Lincoln Peirce
As a comic strip, these books are about a mischievous sixth grader, Nate, and the various misadventures he encounters in his daily life. For example, there have been incidents involving both of his teachers as well as an encounter with his best friend and his archenemy (and former roommate) Gina. A long story is absent from this collection of comic strips, as is typical of most others, in favor of shorter stories, which are ideal for readers with short attention spans or those who read in spurts.
Jaden Touissant the Greatest by Marti Dumas
Episode 1: The Quest for Screen Time is the first book in this series. When he was younger, I bought this as a way to coerce him into reading more. As it turned out, they both had parents who strictly limited their use of electronic devices. Only five episodes have been released, but they are short and sweet. They’re also entertaining, so even the most discerning readers will enjoy them.
Axel and BEAST by Adrian C. Bott
This isn’t a graphic novel like Dog Man or any of the others on this list. However, it’s a light read with a good number of illustrations. Axel, a lifelong gamer, and the runaway robot BEAST are the focus of the story. Beast was created by an evil organization, and in the first book, Axel sets out to free him from their clutches. Many books in this series follow the adventures of these two characters after they first escape the organization’s clutches. Anyone who has ever fantasized about owning a robot and is a fan of video games will find this story appealing.
Olga by Elise Gravel
It all begins with the discovery of a new creature by Olga, a young scientist. It’s only natural that she wants to know as much as she can about it! Because it is written primarily in Olga’s notebook of observations, this is considered a graphic novel. This book sounds like it would be a good example of a book that is both educational and entertaining at the same time. Since Olga wants to know everything there is to know about this new creature, there should also be a fair amount of gross-out humor.
Zita the Space Girl by Ben Hatke
The story revolves around the protagonist’s journey to a new planet in order to save her friend, Joseph, who has been kidnapped by an alien race. Despite the fact that the order of who is saved in this book has been changed, it is still an empowering read for everyone. A new world of adventures awaits, complete with exotic creatures and stunning artwork. This is the first in a short series, so don’t expect it to be a staple in your home library, but it’s still worth checking out.
El Deafo by Cece Bell
The author’s own experiences as a deaf child are depicted in this story. In order for CeCe to hear her teachers, she is forced to wear a ‘Phonic Ear’. Because of her hearing loss, she becomes ‘El Deafo, the Listener for All’. This book, which is also a graphic novel, teaches readers to empathize with people who have different abilities and to help those who have them find their place in society.
The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabley
Animals who are typically associated with evil are the focus of this show. They aspire to do good deeds outside of their preconceived roles. Mr. Snake repeatedly swallows Mr. Piranha, as evidenced by their inability to break out of this persona with each other. These gentlemen have good intentions and the ability to put the needs of others before their own. But in the end, they always succeed, regardless of how unconventional their strategies may be.
Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson
This is a story about a magical creature who becomes a close friend to an awkward young girl. They began their relationship on a high note. To begin with, Phoebe slams a rock into the face of Marigold, the unicorn. As a result, Phoebe makes Marigold her friend by invoking her one wish. Still, these two form a close bond and embark on numerous adventures together despite their differences. It’s a must-read for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider and feared there was no one in the world who could understand them.
Monster Mayhem by Christopher Eliopoulos
Okay, technically, this is the second installment in the series. However, this is not a strictly chronological series that can be enjoyed in any order. The story revolves around Zoe, a young girl who enjoys building robots and watching old monster movies on her own. A magic ring appears one day, which she dons, twisting it and yelling, “FRZAAKK!”
This time she wakes up to a familiar face waiting for her outside her window. Sadly, a friendly kaiju can bring with it a not-so-friendly counterpart. For the sake of saving her town, Zoe and her new kaiju pal will have to band together with some of her classmates and some potential friends. First up is Cosmic Commander, which is a lighthearted read.