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Cardboardby Doug Tennapel
Synopses & Reviews
When cardboard creatures come magically to life, a boy must save his town from disaster.
Cam's down-and-out father gives him a cardboard box for his birthday and he knows it's the worst present ever. So to make the best of a bad situation, they bend the cardboard into a man-and to their astonishment, it comes magically to life. But the neighborhood bully, Marcus, warps the powerful cardboard into his own evil creations that threaten to destroy them all!
"This graphic novel tries to be about magic and goodness, but instead gets bogged down with creepy drawings, unfair stereotypes, and obnoxiously flat characters. Mike is unable to afford anything good for son Cam's birthday, so he buys the boy only a cardboard box. They turn the cardboard into the shape of a man, only to have it come alive. Danger comes from Marcus, a boy readers are repeatedly told is rich, though apparently his parents can't afford a dentist, and drawings concentrate on his bad teeth as if they're a character flaw. Marcus wants the magical cardboard properties to himself because, well, he's bad. Characters are shown, and drawn, as good or bad. The author also has a problem with people driving hybrids or boys having long hair. What could have been a fun fantasy tale often turns preachy, and it belittles people who look different. The story tries to add depth with the trope of a dead mother, but that theme doesn't rescue it from occasional self-righteousness. Ages 10 — 14. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Doug TenNapel was raised in the town of Denair, California. In 1994, he created Earthworm Jim, a character who would go on to star in video games, toy lines, and cartoon series. Doug is an Eisner award-winning artist, and his first graphic novel for Scholastic, GHOSTOPOLIS, is a 2011 ALA Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens. His most recent graphic novel from Scholastic, BAD ISLAND, has been published to critical acclaim. Doug lives in Glendale, California, with his wife and four children.
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