The world of elementary school readers let out a big sigh of relief when Dav Pilkey followed up Captain Underpants with Dog Man. The two titles are quite different, but they both speak to elementary school boys like no other title out there. Dog Man and Cat Kid is the fourth book in the series and continue the half superhero, half police-dog adventures with more costumes, robots and Petey.
If you have been near an elementary school library then you know the attraction that young readers have towards Dog Man. For those who might have an upcoming first or second grader that don’t know the series the important thing to understand is that the Dog Man books are ones that your kids will want to read. They’ll get the book and go to their quiet place (yes, they do have one) and read.
Dog Man and Cat Kid, as well as the other Dog Man books are very heavy on graphics. There is some dialogue, but for the most part the action, as well as the laughs, will be delivered by the illustrations. It’s the fact that young readers are able to read, or at least understand, what’s going on in the books without any adult supervision is certainly one reason why they’re such a hit with ages.
When Dog Man and Cat Kid arrived at the house our 8 year old was yelling, ran in circles, ripped open the box and then went straight to his room. I didn’t see him for 90 minutes. His younger brother was able to do things with me without getting jealous. Nobody copied anyone. There was no touching of the arm then running away and nobody threw food.
After the book was finished he left his room, stretched and said hello. I had to borrow the book just to get a feel for it myself and he quickly confirmed to me. “You’ll return it when you’re done, right?”, he said. I told him that all I needed to do was a quick quality control and that it would be back on his bed tonight.
I asked our 8 year old to describe the book and without skipping a beat he said.
“Dog Man found the perfect sidekick to help defeat Petey. And one night Petey captured the other small one, I forget his name (the ‘small one’ is the yet-to-be-named Cat Kid)……Petey stole him at night and in the morning when he woke up they were at Petey’s secret lab. And then, Petey stole a costume from the movie studio and he gave one to Cat Kid so that he would evil, like him. “
Dog Man and Cat Kid, odds are that your elementary school student knows about it and wants to read it. If your 6 year old hasn’t started seeking out books on their own this is a great introduction, especially for boys.