The Daily Comet: Boy Saves Earth from Giant Octopus!

Overview

The father-and-son team behind Mr. Maxwell's Mouse and Mrs. Marlowe's Mice delivers an entertaining father-and-son story about tabloid culture that will delight even the most hardened skeptics. Youthful doubter and know-it-all Hayward Palmer is accompanying his father -- a reporter for the sensationalistic Daily Comet -- on a "Go to Work with a Parent Day." Hayward has a rational explanation for all the weird and wacky things they encounter ? until he finally comes face to face with an ENORMOUS fact he can't ...
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Overview

The father-and-son team behind Mr. Maxwell's Mouse and Mrs. Marlowe's Mice delivers an entertaining father-and-son story about tabloid culture that will delight even the most hardened skeptics. Youthful doubter and know-it-all Hayward Palmer is accompanying his father -- a reporter for the sensationalistic Daily Comet -- on a "Go to Work with a Parent Day." Hayward has a rational explanation for all the weird and wacky things they encounter ? until he finally comes face to face with an ENORMOUS fact he can't explain. And if Hayward doesn't start believing fast, it could be too late -- for him and his dad!
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This father-and-son team (Mr. Maxwell's Mouse) set their sights on another familial duo: Hayward, a savvy kid with a tabloid-journalist father whose "Go to Work with a Parent Day" is more than he bargained for. Hayward's irritation with his father's flim-flam assignments is only exacerbated by the characters they encounter: a hatching dinosaur, Bigfoot as a cabbie, a giant chicken, and a guy selling an elixir that turns anything made of metal into "a nutritious health drink." Hayward's skepticism turns to fear when a King Kong–sized metallic octopus appears, but he earns a place on the cover of the Daily Comet by defeating it with the potion. "When the smoke cleared, all that remained was an enormous puddle of nutritious green liquid." The dialogue is brisk, and visual quotes from Hollywood abound; Devin Asch's digital illustrations portray Hayward's father as a Gregory Peck look-alike and his photographer sidekick is an Elvis clone; dozens of other retro elements whirl at high speed. Hayward's skepticism is tempered by his experience, and his relationship with his father strengthened; it's a strangely believable tall tale. Ages 5–9. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Read All about It! The Canadian father-and-son team of writer and illustrator has concocted an over-the-top spoof of the tabloid press. Haywood, the born skeptic, spends "Go to Work with a Parent Day" with his dad, a reporter for The Daily Comet. In company with Alfonzo, the Comet's Elvis look-alike photographer, Haywood is dragged from one impossible breaking news event to another. That huge, cracking dinosaur egg at the Museum of Natural History? Even the live lizard that pops out of it? A hoax, Haywood proclaims. Fossils cannot hatch. What about their Sasquatch taxi driver? Or that ten-foot-tall subway chicken? Then there is a certain huge alien octopus. Only a sci-fi movie promo? Devin Asch marvelously recreates 1950s New York City, from the black and white skyline endpapers through sepia images that break out into just the right touch of real color (yellow cabs, blue magical elixir). From floor-level photo shots of women's hemlines to teacups bearing aliens over Central Park, Devin Asch's surreal vision encapsulates and satirizes the era to perfection. Along with Asch pere's tongue-in cheek narrative, the total package is probably too good for its age market—but the kids will love it anyway. Metal tentacles strangling everything in sight? What's not to love? This is a good resource for digital art and history classes, too. Reviewer: Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—This tongue-in-cheek, picture-book burlesque of sensationalistic tabloids is great fun. Young Hayward is a skeptic. He knows that all those stories his father, a reporter for the Daily Comet, writes are just preposterous hoaxes. On "Go to Work with a Parent Day," he finds logical explanations for everything from the 10-foot chicken (a Latin scholar with anger-management problems) to the hairy cab driver who got his job through the Bigfoot Relocation Program. Eventually he comes up against a situation that makes him a believer. The writing is fast paced and filled with quirky humor, and the largely sepia-toned illustrations, done in Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter, are masterful. They have a distinctly retro feel, with bubble-gum- blowing secretaries and pedestrians with beehive hairdos, and little surprises such an Elvis look-alike photographer and Queen Elizabeth enthralled by a flimflam man on a street corner. Make room for this on your shelves, but it won't stay there long.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Kirkus Reviews

"Go to Work with a Parent" Day proves an eye-opening experience for a journalist's fact-loving son in this distinctively illustrated venture from the creators of Mrs. Marlowe's Mice (2007). Hayward's contemptuous conviction that his Dad works for a total rag takes increasingly hard hits after his parent is pulled off a Flying Spaghetti Monster assignment to cover a hatching dinosaur egg at the museum, then a report of a ten-foot-tall chicken dashing across Times Square and finally a giant cup-and-saucer that lands in Central Park to disgorge a huge robot octopus. Thanks to a found bottle of super solvent that dissolves the monster into a puddle of "nutritious green liquid," Hayward saves New York and earns a screaming headline (see title). Sepia-toned with highlights in pale green and yellow, Asch fils's full-spread multilayered collages of heavily reworked photos and photorealistic elements hark back to the better-budgeted monster flicks of yestercentury and feature a cab-driving werewolf and a photographer who looks like Elvis, among other cameos. A pleaser for fans of Adam Rex's Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich (2006) and like cineastic fare. (Picture book. 7-10)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554532810
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: AD660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank Asch is the author and illustrator of more than 70 books for children. His picture books with Kids Can Press include Ziggy Piggy and the Three Little Pigs and Mr. Maxwell's Mouse (illustrated by his son, Devin Asch). Frank lives in Middletown Springs, Vermont.

Devin Asch is an illustrator and photojournalist. He divides his time between LA and Hawaii.

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