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Cardboard by Doug Tennapel

Cardboard (edition 2012)

by Doug Tennapel

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2311650,068 (4.02)1
Authors:Doug Tennapel
Info:GRAPHIX (2012), Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Your library

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Cardboard by Doug TenNapel



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Cam is a good kid. His dad doesn't have a lot and is reeling with the loss of his wife, Cam's mother. When all he can get Cam for his birthday is a cardboard box from a weird guy with odd rules (return the scraps, you can't get more), he feels he has sunk low. But he and Cam make a boxer from the cardboard, and Bill comes to life. They realize there is more to this cardboard than meets the eye. When the sneaky, mean kid steals their cardboard maker, things quickly go haywire putting Cam and his dad to the test.
A darker story, there is a strong lesson about how people do have the ability to change and put their lives on a better, lighter path even after doing some bad things or nearly giving up. ( )
  ewyatt | Jun 11, 2015 |
The Basics

Cam's father is out of work, and it just so happens it's Cam's birthday. Out of desperation, his father buys him some "magic cardboard" from a toy vendor. Well, it turns out it really was magic, and when he and Cam make a boxer out of cardboard, he comes to life. Wackiness ensues.

My Thoughts

The first thing I want to make clear is that I know this is middle grade. I know this wasn't written with me in mind. I've read some middle grade books before. The ones that don't talk down to their audience and create an atmosphere of fantasy and wonder can be some of the best journeys you ever take. This wasn't like that. It had fantastical elements to be sure, but it was mainly a comedy piece. Comedy... for ten year old boys.

I can't emphasize enough how far this was from my demographic, how unfunny I found it most of the time. It had its moments, but they were few and far between. Mostly I tried to immerse myself in the story, which had some good elements, and found myself dragged out of it by clumsy jokes that would have a little boy rofling and had me grunting in a curmudgeonly fashion.

Also, the story elements that were good were heavy-handed. Again, it's for little boys. I get it. But TenNapel really treated them like morons. So even realizing I should take into account that I'm older and going to notice the heaviness of the story-telling, I can't excuse it. He talks down to his audience to the point that I can't imagine a kid over five not feeling patronized.

Regardless of who this comic was meant for, I have to be honest about my rating. It was cute, but what substance it had was force-fed, and the comedy was juvenile. I'd give this to a young kid, because it suits them, but it has very little crossover value.

Final Rating

( )
  Nickidemus | Sep 18, 2014 |
Not as compelling as his other books. I think it had too many messages about parenting, curiosity, bullies, divorce, hate and forgiveness. Somehow it felt a little bogged down. ( )
  SparklePonies | Apr 13, 2014 |
inventive storyline. Did the father bully the next door neighbor boy with the long hair? sure he did. ( )
  GR8inD8N | Feb 20, 2014 |
A fun night with imagination turns to magic. But when that magic falls into the wrong hands, it becomes a struggle to survive. All with cardboard. ( )
  SparklePonies | Feb 12, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0545418739, Paperback)

When cardboard creatures come magically to life, a boy must save his town from disaster.

Cam's down-and-out father gives him a cardboard box for his birthday and he knows it's the worst present ever. So to make the best of a bad situation, they bend the cardboard into a man-and to their astonishment, it comes magically to life. But the neighborhood bully, Marcus, warps the powerful cardboard into his own evil creations that threaten to destroy them all!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:27 -0400)

When cardboard creatures come magically to life, a boy must save his town from disaster.

(summary from another edition)

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