Monday, July 1, 2013


by Dan Santat
224 pages

Captain Amazing is just that: amazing!  But his pets at home miss him terribly when he is gone.  Roscoe the dog waits patiently by the door for him to come home, while Fluffy the hamster plays video games all day long.  One day, a box comes in the mail.  What's inside?  Seems like nothing.  Until a sneaky chameleon makes an appearance. Captain Amazing names him Shifty, for his constantly shifting eyes.  When Captain gets hit by peanuts (he's allergic, his one weakness!), he gets to stay home for several day with the boys.

But all is not well in Metro City.  Dr. Havoc is running a muck, an unknown villain is sneaking around, and Captain Amazing is out of commission for a few days.  What he needs is a sidekick!  While he sets up auditions for a new superhero, his pets are left at home, missing him again.  What Captain doesn't know is that they might want to try out for the auditions.  While living with the Captain, his pets have each developed super abilities.  But will their abilities be enough to save the day?  And just who is that sneaky cat that keeps watching Fluffy like he's a tender morsel to eat?

This was a super fun book!  Think of it as "The Incredibles" meets animals!  The feel of the book was very kid friendly, which isn't always the case in super hero books, but it also has some great themes that takes it beyond just fighting bad guys.  These themes make it much more meaningful and thoughtful.

I really enjoyed the artwork and how it helped convey the mood at the moment.  The backgrounds go from bright and sunny to dim to dark as night.  Very expressive through the colors, and while there is lots of detail and color, I never felt overwhelmed or that it was messy.  Great balance of art to words, where the art aids the plot along. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this.  Great book for boys, especially some of the younger boys that still want the super hero books.  It still has a little fighting (especially the last big scene), but I think the values that it enforces is worth it.  I will definitely recommend for both girls and boys!

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