catwad: it’s me.

Jim Benton (he of Happy Bunny fame) has started publishing a new graphic novel series about a character named Catwad, and I’ve been trying for an hour to figure out how to describe it. In the first book, Catwad: It’s Me., Catwad reminds me of nothing so much as a book version of the Grumpy Cat meme. Or a cross between Grumpy Cat and a Garfield comic. Whichever way you slice it, the book is full of biting, physical humor, and it will be a hit with kids no matter their reading level!

catwad: it's me. by jim benton cover
From New York Times bestselling author Jim Benton, meet Catwad! He's blue, he's a bit of a grouch, and his best friend is a dim-witted cat named Blurmp who can see the bright side of anything. From pizza and computers, to love and happiness, this crabby tabby has a funny take on just about everything, and he's not afraid to share it.

Catwad is a cat (did the name give it away?), and star of a new graphic novel series featuring two cats (Catwad and Blurmp) who play off each other for laughs. It’s a bit like a modern, gross-out version of Amelia Bedelia, and sure to spark belly laughs. Catwad loves nothing (except coffee), and Blurmp loves everything – even when it doesn’t make sense. Their adventures, reluctant friendship, and jokes make for a hilariously meme-able reading experience that is sure to appeal to anyone who has searched the internet for “funny cat videos” (and who hasn’t, at this point??).

With a book filled with jokes about growing up, grossout moments, immaturity, wordplay, meditations on friendship, “dumbness,” and more, Catwad's adventures are destined to be a popular series. I especially appreciated the strategic use of faulty grammar for comedic effect (I might use it as an example in my 9th grade classroom). I see this book as a natural successor to Dog Man, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and other mega-popular graphic novel series that rely on physical humor. It ups the sophistication level a bit (and it’s quite clever at times), but the reading level remains low and the focus is on the contrast between visuals and text.

Speaking of the art, Catwad: It’s Me. is full of vibrant colors, simple images, and a good mix of panel sizes. The stories within also vary in length – some sections are several pages long, and others are brief, contained spreads. Since there isn’t much in the way of background, the focus is squarely on Catwad and Blurmp, and they are easily-traced shapes – so this book may inspire some budding cartoonists as well!

In all, Catwad is a hilarious addition to the elementary and middle grade graphic novel canon, and a great choice for kids who like humor and are at lower reading levels.

Recommended for: readers ages 7+ who enjoy reading newspaper comics, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and other humorous sequential art.

Fine print: I received a finished copy of this book from a publicist for review consideration . I did not receive any compensation for this post.

No comments:

Newer Posts Older Posts Home