Monday, December 3, 2012

Tales from behind the bookcase, episode 2

Well, I'm not really behind the bookcase right now, but I grabbed a book from the bookcase to read today and that book was Cardboard by Doug TenNapel.  I was excited to see this book at the book fair because I enjoyed TenNapel's previous 2 graphic novels for young people -Ghostopolis and Bad Island - so much.  I was not disappointed with Cardboard.
The beginning of the story has a Gremlins feel to it - a down-on-his-luck father buys a cardboard box for his son from an odd and mysterious merchant who explains that there are two rules for the cardboard that, naturally, the man breaks.
The cardboard, it turns out, has magic properties that allow things made from the cardboard to come to life, a la Frosty the Snowman and his magic silk hat.  The trouble begins when the boy's wretched neighbor steals the cardboard and begins to create monsters.
As with TenNapel's previous works, themes of the importance of family, friendship, and being a good person are woven throughout the story.
The artwork is familiar from TenNapel's previous works, and one character bears a slight resemblance to the cartoon character Earthworm Jim, which is another of TenNapels creations.
I'd recommend this book for kids age 10 and up.

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