Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen

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Herding Cats was created by Sarah Andersen, and it is a collection of her Sarah’s Scribbles comic. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because I’ve seen some of Andersen’s comics shared on social media, and I appreciate her brand of humor.

Herding Cats is an astute look at “adulting”, and how stressful modern life can be. There is a new comic on each page, and the jokes are more observational humor rather than a cohesive storyline with characters. Some of the jokes are broad, like time management and being anxiety prone. Some of the jokes are oddly specific, like trying (and ultimately failing) to refold a shirt at a clothing store. But all of the jokes were relatable to me as a thirtysomething year old woman. Read more

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Big Nate: Silent but Deadly by Lincoln Peirce

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Big Nate: Silent but Deadly was written by Lincoln Peirce. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book because my oldest daughter is a big fan of the Big Nate comic strip and I knew that she would be interested in reading it too.

Nate is an average American boy who goes to elementary school. He has somewhat of a contentious relationship with teachers and administrators, and he has friends and adversaries within the school community. He’s a bright boy, but he doesn’t like to do schoolwork, which is something most children can empathize with. He plays sports, and interacts with his family. Read more

Unicorn of Many Hats by Dana Simpson

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Unicorn of Many Hats is the seventh book in Dana Simpson’s Phoebe and her Unicorn series of comics. I was very excited to read this book and share it with my oldest daughter because she loves this series.

The premise is fairly simple: Phoebe is an elementary school student, and her best friend is a unicorn named Marigold Heavenly Nostrils. Marigold is mostly invisible, but she does have some interactions with the other characters.

Unicorn of Many Hats tends to follow a similar setup to the other books, wherein the good part of a year is covered, without the characters really aging from one book to another. There are story arcs devoted to starting school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Many of the familiar secondary characters have returned, including frenemy Dakota, Max, Phoebe’s geeky parents, and even the goblins make an appearance. Read more

I’m Not Your Sweet Babboo by Charles Schulz

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I’m Not Your Sweet Babboo is a collection of Peanuts cartoons by the late Charles Schulz. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book because my oldest daughter is a big fan of Peanuts. Needless to say, she was very excited when I told her that I had a Peanuts book for her to read!

Fans of Peanuts will know that “sweet babboo” was a term of endearment that Sally Brown used with her beloved Linus. Interestingly enough, while there was a storyline involving Sally and Linus going to a farm on a school, most of the collection focuses on other storylines. We are treated to Snoopy’s feud with the cat next door, Peppermint Patty’s school troubles, Charlie Brown running away, and Snoopy playing tennis with Molly Volley.

These storylines are unrelated, but the compilers of this collection did a good job with the segues, so nothing seems out-of-place with the transitions. There’s a nice flow. Read more

Unicorn Crossing (Phoebe and Her Unicorn) by Dana Simpson

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I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Unicorn Crossing is the fifth book in the Phoebe and her Unicorn Adventure series by Dana Simpson. My three girls- especially my oldest- are big fans of this comic, so I was very excited about the opportunity to share this with them.

Phoebe is a fairly average girl, with one notable exception: her pet unicorn Marigold. Phoebe and Marigold navigate a fairly typical American childhood with a good sense of humor. This dynamic duo experiences seasons, holidays, school, friendship, and more. A fairly small ensemble rounds out the cast: Phoebe’s parents, her friend Max, and her frenemy Dakota. There are plenty of pop culture references, with a notable geeky slant. Read more

Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton

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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt is Ben Clanton’s second graphic novel featuring a delightful friendship between a narwhal and a jellyfish. As the title suggests, much of the plot concerns Narwhal becoming a superhero and Jelly becoming his sidekick. They have a couple of brief adventures in which they try to help another friend fulfill a wish, and they also confront a bully who is calling Jelly “Jelly Dolt” instead of “Jelly Jolt”.   Read more

Big Nate: What’s a Little Noogie Between Friends? by Lincoln Peirce

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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My oldest daughter is almost ten years old, and she loves Big Nate comics. Needless to say, she was very excited about being able to read What’s a Little Noogie Between Friends?

Nate is a fairly typical middle school boy. He goes to school, plays sports, and spends time with his friends. He has a reputation as a slacker, and this forms the basis for most of the jokes in the book. Peirce does not present an idealized version of school life; Nate makes mistakes and is sometimes the punchline rather than the one doling out the jokes. Nate is a very real character, and that’s what makes him so fun to read about.       Read more

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down by Jeff Kinney

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My oldest daughter is nine years old, and she has been reading the Wimpy Kid books for a few years. One of her little sisters (age 7) also likes the series, and they’re always swapping books.

The newest book came out today, so I headed over to the bookstore to buy a copy. Of course, I couldn’t resist reading the book first!

Double Down is the 11th book in Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Middle school diarist Greg Heffley is still making his way through life as an awkward tween. He deals with trials and tribulations at home and at school, including learning to play an instrument and preparing for Halloween.

My favorite part of the book had to be the book fair. I think that every parent can identify with the book fair struggle. I also loved the introduction of prolific kid-lit author I.M Spooky, whose horror novels are very popular at Greg’s school. As a child of the 90s, I appreciated the homage to R.L. Stine and his Goosebumps/Fear Street books. There are also references to other popular series, but I’ll keep that as a surprise! Read more

Big Nate: Thunka, Thunka, Thunka by Lincoln Peirce

819wgp58dblI received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My oldest daughter has always been a fan of comic strips like Calvin & Hobbes, Foxtrot, and Peanuts. One of her most favorite strips is Lincoln Peirce’s Big Nate series, so she was very excited when I received the opportunity to read Big Nate: Thunka, Thunka, Thunka.

Nate is a sixth grade boy, and he’s easy for kids to relate to. He has some sarcastic comments to make about school, he hangs out with his friends, and he plays sports.

We have several of the Big Nate books, and what my daughter (and I) like about them is that there is a punchline on just about every page, but Peirce is also building larger storylines Read more

Snoopy: Conact by Charles Schulz

I grew up with Snoopy. We all grew up with Snoopy, didn’t we? I have fond memories of reading new Peanuts strip in the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times with my father. So, I was very excited when I received the opportunity to review Snoopy: Contact!, a collection of Snoopy-centric strips. I was especially excited to share the book with my eight-year-old daughter, who is a Peanuts fanatic.

Snoopy: Contact! contains over 150 pages of Peanuts strips featuring Charlie Brown’s beloved beagle, Snoopy. One of the most recurring themes in these strips is that of the “flying ace”. Snoopy pretends that his doghouse is a Sopwith Camel, and he engages in dogfights with his archnemesis, the Red Baron. When he is not taking to the skies in search of his foe, Snoopy can be found in tiny cafes where he partakes in root beer. Read more