Thursday, January 28, 2016

Petlandia by Peter Hannan

Madame Wigglesworth manages to tolerate the humans who worship her until they turn their attention to a new object of adoration: A pup named Grub. She can't take it any more! A few evil schemes later and the human Finkleblurts are out of the house for good and Madame Wigglesworth has founded Petlandia. Naturally, she will be the first dictator, ahem, president that is. But she didn't count on lovestruck Honeybaked Hamster voting for....Grub?? Things escalate quickly to all-out civil war. Will peace ever return to Petlandia?

Hannan's scratchy black and white cartoons are an excellent fit for the story. Madame Wigglesworth's vampire-like fangs, the teeny-bopper Honeybaked, nasty rats, and droolingly ridiculous Grub snarl and fight their way through an increasingly untidy background, ending with a stomach-turning scene with worms.

On the one hand, I read this and thought "Bad Kitty for kids who like Cartoon Network". On the other hand, I read this and thought "this has no redeeming qualities other than being grossly funny". The characters are stupid and/or nasty, and the ending is ridiculous.

Verdict: Not surprisingly, the author has done a lot of work on Nickelodeon and fans of that brand of humor will eat this up. It's a graphic blend - primarily text with spot illustrations - so a nice compromise for parents who don't want their kids reading graphic novels. It's not over the top gross or crude, just has a rather icky feel to it. It reminded me of Apocalypse Bow-Wow only with an actual plot. I'm not exactly going to recommend it, but it will certainly circulate.

ISBN: 9780545162111; Published 2015 by Scholastic; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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