I know I tell you frequently about types of books that are pretty much guaranteed surefire hits for me (British settings with manor houses, stories with food connections, anything related to Paris…). I’m sure that at some point I’ve mentioned that books about animals with secret lives please me. This is one reason I picked up Dan Satat’s graphic novel, Sidekicks. Also because his artwork rocks. It’s so bold and clean and dramatic. I can tell you right now that kids in my library are going to be crazy for this book. It’s hilarious (at one point, the hamster character asks the dog, “Do I look okay? Is there anything in my teeth?” to which the dog replies, “YOU ONLY HAVE TWO TEETH!” Love it). Any story with a hamster dressed in a spandex superhero suit has got to make you stop and take notice. I like reading something where the reading experience can best be summed up in one word: Fun. Take a look at the trailer and you’ll see what I mean:

Visually, it doesn’t get much better than this. All of the rich dark colours in the night scenes heighten the atmosphere. There’s great expressiveness in the animals’ faces and the action sequences have a cinematic feeling. The ending leaves room for a possible sequel. Lucky us!

For teachers / librarians / really interested folks, Dan is offering a tremendous 275 page PDF all about the artwork and the process of creating the book. More info here.

Sidekicks is published by Arthur A. Levine books.

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