Review Detail

Fun beginning graphic novel series
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Peanut is leery of going into a new, scary room, but Butter, the fearless cat, has no such compunction. Crackers, a somewhat larger, older dog, shows Peanut that the room is just a garage, and isn't scary at all. The trio realize that their humans are packing up to take them somewhere, and when they get on the road in a camper van, enjoy having more space to stretch out while on the road. At the campsite, however, Butter starts feeling a bit cooped up and bored, and wants to go exploring. Crackers thinks this is a bad idea, but Butter claws the screen in order to escape and go on an adventure. Crackers counsels against it, but Peanut goes along, hoping to prove less fearful after the garage incident. The two don't come back, and Crackers becomes concerned and ventures out to find his friends. It's a good thing, because the two go far into the woods, it becomes dark, and they fall into the water. Quick thinking by Crackers and help from a local beaver save the day, and the trio heads home, repairs the screen, and decides that staying in the lap of luxury might not be all that boring after all.
Good Points
This beginning graphic novel was a lot of fun, and is the third book in a series that includes Puppy Problems and Fetch. I haven't read either of those, but was able to catch up to the group dynamic pretty quickly. The colors are bright, and the text is in a large font size and much briefer than in graphic novels for older readers. This was similar to Keating's BunBun and BonBon, Lerner's Hunger Heroes, and Smith's Pea, Bee, and Jay, and made me think of older titles like the Holms' Babymouse, Krosoczka's Lunch Ladies, or Eaton's The Flying Beaver Brothers books.

The best part about this book was how well developed the personalities of the pets are! Butter, of course, is a wily, somewhat evil cat, although the portrayal is not overly stereotypical. Peanut is all youthful exuberance and emotional swings, while Crackers is content to nap in a cozy sweater. The beaver, Birch, is a bit of a wild card, but adds a fun note of quirkiness to a solid cast. I need to pick up the earlier books to see if humans are represented as more than feet and hands!

Getting lost in the woods can be traumatic, and Peanut and Butter are fortunate that Crackers is a resourceful character who is able to find them, work with Birch to save them. Crackers also gets extra points in my book for introducing Birch to the concept of kibbles, and for rewarding the rescue with a box of treats. He also cleans up his friends' mess so that the humans don't even seem to know that anything is amiss. This was a fun story, and I definitely want to explore more books by this author.
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