Sidekicks by Dan Santat

103628444Lynn: Inquiring minds want to know!  What happens when a superhero sneezes?  If you guessed that it wouldn’t be pretty, you guessed right.  Captain Amazing is allergic to peanuts and when his symptoms are triggered by a stray groundnut it is clear he needs an assistant.  His lonely pets agree – he’s never home with them – and they’re also really excited about trying out for the job.  Dan Santat’s take on superheros in Sidekicks (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine 2011) is as engaging as it is clever.  It is impossible to resist cheering for Fluffy the hamster, Shifty the Chameleon and Roscoe the dog as they practice for the big audition.  Along the way Fluffy and Shifty team up with bitter Manny, a cat long estranged from the household.  There’s plenty of laughs, smashing and crashing action and the sweet message that family is the most important thing.

The focus group and I loved this winning romp.  The text is as much fun as the the comedic illustrations that zip along with their intriguing pet-level perspectives. We read the arc which had only one chapter showing what the colored final book will look like and we can’t wait for the full-color version which is now available!

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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