Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea | Review
Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea (#11)
By Dav Pilkey
Scholastic Graphix, March 2023, $14.99
When a series continues on and on, you would think it would get old or not so funny. And I haven’t read all the Dog Man books, so likely, there are some repeat jokes… and I just haven’t seen them. But when I brought home the latest Dog Man title and saw the eager eyes of all my children… I knew that this series certainly has not gotten old.
In the 11th installment, there’s a lot going on. Dog Man “chaperones” Chief and Nurse Lady while they’re on a date. Piggy is in prison and – in a twist of fate – is able to escape. But Dog Man is on the case. Petey is trying to rebuild his lab. The story twists and turns until all the characters are together in a hilarious adventure, where thankfully, Piggy gets his comeuppance.
There are at least 3 or 4 different storylines that all cleverly intersect and come together. There are a lot of laugh-out-loud moments and silly fun. There are also quite a few tender moments too. This book has it all. (And honestly, while it’s really really silly, I don’t get why so many people have issues with it. It’s really clever and has a lot of thought and planning to make it all work.)
The artwork is bright and bubbly. The panels are large and few on a page and the lettering is also large, making it easy for young readers to delve into the book. There are a bunch of “Flip-o-Rama” moments in the book, where readers are supposed to flip back and forth to make the pages look like it’s animated. I couldn’t get it to work. I’m just too old I guess. But I imagine the kids have fun trying while reading the books.
This title will sell itself. But I don’t think readers are getting bored and will be thrilled to see a new installment.
About Esther Keller
Esther Keller is the librarian at William E. Grady CTE HS in Brooklyn, NY. In addition, she curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ. In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics and worked in the same middle school library for 20 years.
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