“Marty Pants: Keep Your Paws Off!” by Mark Parisi is the perfect book for readers who enjoy “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” And, of course, every boy between the ages of seven and seventeen loves the “Diary” books, so this book should be an easy sell.
In this second book in the series, Marty thinks he’s turning into a werewolf. The story shows him going through stages of being certain the changes are happening and then thinking it’s not true. As Marty goes through his day at home with his older sister, and then at school on picture day, readers will smile and laugh out loud at the situations in which Marty finds himself.
A third-grader who raced through the book has several positive things to say about it. “It ends on a cliffhanger, and it’s funny. It’s not a bunch of chapters but it’s like a cartoon.” He also commented that “you don’t know what’s going to happen next and then you turn the page and there’s a hint…”
Adults will like the vocabulary. On one page, Marty explains:
“Why do I say loathe? Because my mom doesn’t like it when I say hate. (Illustration of Marty saying he hates fish casserole and his mom telling him not to say that word.) To me, loathe means the same thing, but for some reason my mom’s okay with it. (Illustration of Marty saying he loathes fish casserole and his mom saying ‘That’s so cute!’)
Marty discusses artists like Magritte (with a drawing of a man with an apple in front of his face) and that Van Gogh’s paintings sell for millions (with a clever illustration below of Van Gogh’s gravestone thinking ‘Oh, sure…NOW my paintings sell for millions!’) There are vocabulary words that would make any third (or fourth or fifth) grade teacher proud, even if the text is presented in a mix of graphic novel and chapter book.
This is a series that boys will really enjoy for the humor and that adults will also enjoy reading to kids (for the humor and the language). Perfectly appropriate for second graders through sixth graders.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by Harper, the publisher, for review purposes.