NFNT Review Index

Links to the Mister Raroo's Output on No Flying No Tights
 
Original Post Date: March 7, 2013
Excerpt: When I first saw the title Baxter the Tweeting Dog, I figured the book would be about a puppy that learned how to talk to birds or something along those lines. It never dawned on me that the book would use Twitter as an integral component of its plot and humor. But, lo and behold, that’s exactly what it does and I really have to question author Doreen Marts's thinking. How many beginning readers use Twitter, or even know what Twitter is?
 
Original Post Date: March 6, 2013
Excerpt: Though I was ready to call it quits after a couple episodes and put a tally mark in the “Absolute Nonsense” category, my son and daughter both told me Hero: 108 is “awesome and hilarious,” and they have regularly been pulling the DVDs off our shelf to request we watch it. I asked both of them to give me a quick overview of what the show is all about, and neither of them was able to do so. They seem just as mystified as me when it comes to the storyline, yet they don’t seem to mind. Obviously, the attraction lies elsewhere.
Original Post Date: March 4, 2013
Excerpt: You would swear you were looking at laughable Garfield fan art that was accidentally sent through a cycle in the washing machine. I’m sure there are probably some Daniel Cleary fans that would argue his style is unique and has merit, but I had an aversion to it from the get-go.
 
Original Post Date: October 17, 2012
Excerpt: One thought that struck me as I was reading Meanwhile is that it is one of the best examples of a physical book that would not work as well in an electronic format. While I’m sure some clever programmer (or maybe even Shiga himself) could whip up an ingenious touch screen-based version of Meanwhile, the visceral joy of sliding your finger along the colored lines and turning the pages to see where the path leads next would be difficult to replicate via software. The book is as much a physical plaything as it is a comic.
 
Original Post Date: October 16, 2012
Excerpt:  I still get goosebumps during the opening episode, which cuts between scenes of Priss’s band performing in a night club and a rampaging “Boomer” robot going ballistic in the city. The police are unable to put an end to the havoc and when the Knight Sabers finally arrive on the scene and save the day (or night, in this case), it’s enough to make viewers cheer out loud.

Strike Witches: The Complete 1st Season
Original Post Date: October 15, 2012
Excerpt: Watching Strike Witches made me feel very uncomfortable, especially since, at times, the close-ups of the panties are so detailed you can easily make out what’s underneath. No restraint is shown in depicting characters such as middle school student Yoshika Miyafuji topless. To a thirteen-year-old boy, Strike Witches might be the greatest accomplishment known to humankind. As a married thirty-something father, I found it to be truly embarrassing to watch. 

Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror
Original Post Date: October 12, 2012
Excerpt: With nothing objectionable in terms of the film’s content and plenty of artistic value to appreciate, Oblivion Island is a recommended addition to any library, be it public or personal. Just remember, should you go to turn on your television only to find your remote control is missing, you’ll know who to blame.

A Day in the Office of Doctor Bugspit
Original Post Date: March 3, 2012
Excerpt: Elise Gravel has shot to the top of my list of favorite comic artists providing content for beginning readers. She creates books that are unique and unpredictable, and illustrates them with an eye-catching style that is distinctly her own. Though Doctor Bugspit may not be a real doctor, his office is one readers are encouraged to visit—just don’t expect him to pay any attention to you if he’s in the middle of a nap!
Original Post Date: January 25, 2012
Excerpt: The story won’t hold much significance to children and younger teens—and given the plethora of profanity, they should probably keep away—but it’s really not meant for them, anyway. Instead, Same Difference is a message for older teens and adults trying to find direction and sense in their lives, serving as a gentle reminder that even if we all feel remorseful and disconnected on occasion, we share a stronger bond with the world around us than we may realize.

Stinky
Original Post Date: January 24, 2012
Excerpt: No matter if Stinky is enjoyed alone or with an adult, it is a book young readers will request time and time again. The fun storyline, lush visuals, and appropriate vocabulary work together to make the book an absolute pleasure worthy of a place in any collection of short-chapter books.

Rick & Rack and the Great Outdoors
Original Post Date: January 22, 2012
Excerpt:  Ethan Long is already a talented artist and I’m curious to see how he develops as an author, but the characters and stories he presents in the book are too throwaway to have a long-lasting impact on readers. Rick & Rack and the Great Outdoors is a decent “What Should I Read Next?” book after kids have burned through stronger offerings, but ultimately that just means its sloppy seconds. I dig the artwork, appreciate the message, and can enjoy the simple humor, but sadly there’s not much about the book that differentiates it from the rest of the pack.
 
Original Post Date: January 22, 2012
Excerpt: Kaleido Star plays everything safe, but it does so with style and grace. There may be little in the series that hasn’t been offered in some form or another elsewhere, but the components all click into place perfectly to make for a watching experience that is consistently compelling.
 
Original Post Date: January 21, 2012
Excerpt: It’s hard not to wish glurbs were real after reading Adopt a Glurb. I would definitely adopt one if I could! In fact, I would adopt more than one because the book informs me that if I had at least three glurbs, they would make my bed for me. That alone is certainly more than worth any trouble that comes with glurb ownership in my too-lazy-to-make-my-bed opinion!
 
Original Post Date: January 20, 2012
Excerpt: The world of Professor Layton is one in which I would love to live. There are no electronic gadgets or fancy modern buildings, with mechanical devices and Victorian-style towns being the order of the day instead. The film’s soundtrack adds an air of nostalgia with a touch of ambiguity, giving a slightly familiar yet still bewildering atmosphere to the whole experience. It’s like walking through a land you have a vague recollection of visiting, but can’t quite place when and where you had been there.
 
Original Post Date: December 30, 2011
Excerpt: Most of the episodes take their time to set the mood, often employing long, still shots of buildings and other scenery before moving on with the narrative. Much of the story content is approached in a similar manner, having a pace that isn’t slow, per se, but never seems to be in much of a rush to get anywhere. Instead, it revels in being in the moment.
 
Original Post Date: December 29, 2011
Excerpt: On the one hand, creating a series based upon a satirical retelling of world history through a madcap anime filter is something of a success in and of itself. On the other hand, severe liberties are taken with historical facts, and the ways in which the various nations are portrayed as people borders on offensive. Italy is obsessed with eating pasta and is quick to surrender, while the United States gobbles hamburgers and always wants to be the hero, even if he expects his allies to do most of the work for him. It’s all supposed to be in good fun, but it may rub viewers the wrong way.
 
Original Post Date: December 24, 2011
Excerpt: I’m not sure if Stickman Odyssey will quite be a gateway drug to a deeper investigation of Greek mythology, but it will definitely make the subject of Ancient Greece more approachable and interesting for children. The book smartly introduces the setting and many of the most notable figures in Greek mythology without becoming too bogged down in names, dates, places, and the other trappings of historical study that make many students’ eyes gloss over.
 
Original Post Date: December 24, 2011
Excerpt: The world of Thaddeus and Maddie becomes rather weird, and I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop so that everything would return to normal, but that never quite happened. Prime Baby sticks to its unconventional guns the entire time, and when I reached the final page I was completely surprised—and delighted—that everything wrapped up the way it did.
 
Original Post Date: December 23, 2011
Excerpt: It may lack the depth of the source material, but it stays true in spirit, and the suspenseful moments are effective and very engaging. Seeing as I haven’t had a full night’s sleep since becoming a father nearly five years ago, anything that keeps me up far past my bedtime has got to have something special going for it!
 
Original Post Date: December 9, 2011
Excerpt: Just like haiku, Anywhere But Here offers snippets of a larger whole, and it is up to the reader to supplement what’s missing, so those who aren’t up to a cerebral challenge should look elsewhere.
 
Original Post Date: December 6, 2011
Excerpt: Given the quality of Spiegelman’s past output, I am disappointed that Jack and the Box isn’t a tighter, more focused effort. Nevertheless, the book is still worth introducing to youngsters, especially those whose senses of humor are a little on the warped side.
 
Original Post Date: December 4, 2011
Excerpt: I can just picture a furious patron storming up to a library’s front counter and demanding Velveteen & Mandala be pulled from the collection. But as shocking as the book can be, it is also equally fascinating, and a challenging but rewarding read is in store for anyone brave enough to trek through the frightening, surreal world portrayed on the pages.
 
Original Post Date: November 29, 2011
Excerpt: Friendship is an integral part of child development, so seeing positive examples of best buddies supporting one another is beneficial to little readers. Hippo and Rabbit will reassure kids that nobody is perfect and we all have shortcomings, but by building strong friendships we can work together to rise above the challenges we face, no matter how small they may seem.
 
Original Post Date: November 29, 2011
Excerpt: With a sturdy hardback binding and thick paper stock, the book should have little trouble withstanding being frequently handled by little readers. And, if my four-year-old son is any example, kids will definitely want to read the book repeatedly. It has become a frequent bedtime story request in our home, and my son gave me the following instructions: “Dad, you have to give the mouse book a good review. It’s funny!”
 
Original Post Date: November 23, 2011

Excerpt: What makes Trigun’s battles so entertaining is that Vash goes to almost pacifistically complex lengths to make his escape without injuring anyone else. With fluid animation and awesome weapon designs, Trigun’s gunfights are still some of the best anime fans can find.

Tonoharu, Part One and Part Two
Original Post Date: November 18, 2011
Excerpt:Though at times Tonoharu’s plot becomes a little more convoluted than I feel it needs to be, I still found both volumes of the series to be thoroughly absorbing and intriguing, and I believe most adult readers will do the same. I was able to make personal connections to many of the situations Daniel was going through, even if my own life experiences have been very different. Tonoharu’s intoxicating artwork is practically strong enough to capture and hold readers’ attention on its own, though thankfully it doesn’t have to do so since the book’s underlying themes are superbly executed.

Detroit Metal City (Live Action Movie)
Original Post Date: November 5, 2011
Excerpt: When all is said and done, Detroit Metal City is corny, crass and clichéd. It's also a lot of fun. Teenage boys, in particular, will appreciate the premise and humor, though the film is enjoyable enough that it should be able to attract a wider audience as well. If you can push past the slower moment sof the movie, you may just find yourself joining in on the DMC hysteria as one of Krauser's most devoted fans.  

The Book of Human Insects
Original Post Date: November 2, 2011
Excerpt: There are few likeable characters in the entire book, and almost everyone acts in a vile manner that often seems inhumane. Perhaps Tezuka is simply trying to expose how ugly and deplorable humankind can be. Humans are portrayed as being nothing more than insects, willing to pull one another downward in a greedy attempt to survive. 

Sketch Monsters, Book 1: Escape of the Scribbles
Original Post Date: October 27, 2011
Excerpt: While Williamson’s storyline and dialogue are inviting and keep things moving at a crisp page, the real start of the show is Navarette’s vibrant artwork, particularly the monster designs, which each work well as clever visual metaphors for the emotions they represent. 

Level Up
Original Post Date: October 24, 2011
Excerpt: Level Up may not take long to finish, but readers will have plenty to ponder and converse about long after they reach the last page, making it an ideal selection for a Young Adult or adult book club. 

Stargazing Dog
Original Post Date: October 23, 2011
Excerpt: It is the perfect book to enjoy on a quiet evening, preferably with a dog by your side. And chances are you’ll wind up taking your dog for a walk afterwards, pondering what you’ve just read as you gaze up at the starry sky above you. 

Oh! Edo Rocket Season 1 Parts 1 & 2
Original Post Date: October 23, 2011
Excerpt: Unfortunately, Oh! Edo Rocket overstays its welcome. The series would have actually been better off at half its length because the second crop of episodes lose steam and rely upon even zanier humor that, while still entertaining, is unable to carry things on its own. To the show’s credit, it still looks and sounds great to the end, but given that Oh! Edo Rocket is set in such a curious and unique world and begins on such a high note, it’s disappointing that the series couldn’t wrap things up in a similar manner. 

Azumanga Daioh: The Animation Complete Collection
Original Post Date: October 14, 2011
Excerpt: Azumanga Daioh is a collection of all the little things that make life special. Despite the show’s seeming simplicity, it manages to breathe more life into its characters than most other animated works. Even if viewers may not be familiar with the many idiosyncratic Japanese cultural aspects that arise during a number of the episodes, it’s still easy to build a connection to the cast and the situations they find themselves in.

Dragon Puncher Book 2: Dragon Puncher Island
Original Post Date: October 11, 2011
ExcerptThere is definitely a sprinkling of clever ideas and silly humor present in Dragon Puncher Island, but in the end the various parts don’t quite add up to make a cohesively engrossing package. Though young readers may initially be attracted to the book’s bright artwork and cool premise, I have to question if these factors alone are enough to keep kids engaged to the end. 

Mal and Chad, vol. 1: The Biggest, Bestest Time Ever!
Original Post Date: September 29, 2011
Excerpt: However, it was the smaller, offhand moments that actually stood out to me the most. When Mal's mom declares that Chad, being a dob, is no longer allowed to be fed people food, Mal tries to console his best bud by eating a kernal of dog food to demonstrate that it's not so bad--only to admit, yep, it's pretty disgusting. These tender exchanges between friends are the best parts of the book, in my opinion, and thankfully there are plenty of them. They are reminiscent of Calvin and Hobbes, and made me think that Mal and Chad would find themselves quite at home in a daily comic strip.

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