George and Harold's Early Work
George and Harold, having survived all of the adventures involving Captain Underpants, go through their old papers and find one of their first comics, Dog Man. They decide to reboot the series. Dog Man is created when a good but not very intelligent policeman and a smart dog are both badly injured, and the dog's head is sewn on to the policeman's body. Dog Man loves the Chief, who is less than thrilled with Dog Man's antics, which included licking the Chief's hand and pooping in his office. Petey the cat is the archnemesis in this book, and he has innovative ways to deal with Dog Man, such as creating a giant vacuum cleaner to chase down our hero, and using animation spray to create an army of sentient hot dogs. Oddly, Petey does not triumph. This book has plenty of flip-o-rama pages (which are SUCH a disappointment on an e reader), and was great fun.
While there isn't a whole lot of character development, there are sentient hot dogs. Can't have everything!
I need to contact Mr. Pilkey and ask if I may use his name in my term "The Pilkey Line". This term is useful when determining what books will be successful at the middle school level (like The Origami Yoda, which includes more awareness of social interaction, romance, and slightly more mature humor), and which will be more successful at the elementary level (Books like Spaceheadz, which are goofier, have more potty humor, and may not have as much of a coherent plot). The reason I use Pilkey's name in vain is that EVERYONE, regardless of age, likes his books, so he is the constant in the center; everything else falls on either a younger or older side of that line.
If you have a 4-14 year old boy for whom you need a gift, this is the go-to author. Buy it, and don't think about it too very hard! (And buy a paper copy-- Flip-o-Rama is not satisfactory in an e book version!)