“Bow-Wow is like Bee-Bop; you can read it quick or spend your time with it. Either way, it swings.”
Mo Willems, creator of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
With nary a word, Mark Newgarden and Megan Montague Cash have created a story about a bold new doggy who goes where no doggy has gone before. With a spring in his step and his tail only occasionally between his legs,
Bow-Wow may look like your average terrier. The streets he walks may seem familiar. But just around the corner, things get a little unusual.
With nary a word, Mark Newgarden and Megan Montague Cash have created a story about a bold new doggy who goes where no doggy has gone before. With a spring in his step and his tail only occasionally between his legs, Bow-Wow faces down every foe--well, almost every foe--in his path.
Step aside, mutts. There's a new dog in town.
This wordless sequence of comic panels, the first in a planned Bow-Wow Books series, is an eminently charming and surreal twist on what might otherwise be just another of the dog days of summer. Garbage Pail Kids creator Newgarden and Cash (What Makes the Seasons?) create a kind of silent feature, composing each orderly panel with a beefy black line and saturated digital colors. Bow-Wow himself, a golden-yellow terrier, has oval-dot eyes and an expressive brow that convey a broad range of emotions as he goes about his day. The action centers on his pursuit of a pesky black bug, which hops to the edge of his dog dish in the morning. With his nose to the ground and brow furrowed in concentration, Bow-Wow tracks the bug down the sidewalk where, in swift succession, gags pile up and absurdities bloom. Bow-Wow encounters a Doppelganger and the duo (as well as their respective insects) engages in an increasingly zany series of mirrored movements. Bow-Wow then meets an enormous lookalike who has been pursuing an equally oversize insect; when Bow-Wow flees this pair of behemoths, he rounds a corner to find a wild convoy of dogs sniffing after bugs. (Turning yet another corner, he is stunned to discover an array of giant insects chasing after minuscule dogs.) Newgarden and Cash use a varied layout of panels to great effect (three spreads are dedicated to close-ups of Bow-Wow's blinking disbelief as the enormous creepy-crawlies charge toward him), making this outing, which in less skilled hands might have read like a Sunday comic strip, feel enormously fresh and modern. Ages 3-7. (June)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Bow-Wow wakes up one morning, has a snack, and notices a small black bug. He follows it out of the house and down the street and encounters more dogs and more bugs of various sizes and stripes before returning home and going to sleep. The clever circular plot is funny, quirky, and even suspenseful, working well as a wordless picture book. The simple, bold, expressive illustrations, outlined with heavy black line, challenge viewers to follow the visual story line and sequences of events. Single-page and full-spread layouts combine with comic-strip panels to show the perspective of Bow-Wow, the other canines, and the bugs. The ingenuity and humor of this book will be most appreciated by youngsters who have the patience and interest to examine and decode the pictures.
Rachel KaminCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
MARK NEWGARDEN is a cartoonist, author, screenwriter and creator of many novelties for children including the tremendously popular Garbage Pail Kids. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
MEGAN MONTAGUE CASH has illustrated for The Children's Museum of Manhattan, Nick Jr. Magazine, Eboo toys and others. She is also the author and illustrator of I Saw The Sea and the Sea Saw Me. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
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