Kat Kong / Dogzilla
by Dav Pilkey
I received these amazing books from a friend as a graduation present this weekend, and I can surely say I’ve never received a better gift. They’re so silly, and the books even issue warnings that “some material may be too silly/goofy for grown-ups,” but you know what? Sometimes grown-ups need a little silliness in their lives!
Using his own pets, Dav Pilkey (author of the Captain Underpants novels) has created these incredible books that actually made me — a 27-year-old college graduate (which obviously means I’m super sophisticated) — laugh out loud. For those of you who require a synopsis before deciding if you should read these books, read on. Though I’m sure you’re just dying to pick them up based on the covers alone, as you should be!
Doctor Varmint and his beautiful assistant, Rosie Rodent, have made–and captured–a stunning scientific discovery: the mighty Kat Kong. But when he breaks free from his shackles and tears through the streets of Mousopolis, there’s no stopping his terrifying rampage. Is anyone clever enough to halt this massive meowing menace? (Goodreads)
Dogzilla rises from a volcano to break up the First Annual Mousopolis Barbecue Cook-Off, and scatter the Big Cheese’s troops with her fearsome doggy breath–but the threat of a bath sends her scurrying back to her mountain. Illustrations are painted in bright acrylics around cleverly trimmed and placed photographs of Pilkey’s pet mice, cat, and corgi, for a wonderfully silly look, appropriately accompanied by a pun-laden text. (Goodreads)
Besides the obviously amazing covers, these books are filled with vibrant, exciting, and hilariously ridiculous pictures throughout. There are plenty of subtle chuckle-worthy images in the backgrounds as well, like playhouse signs for The Hamster of the Opera and a shop called Gonzales Furniture that guarantees a speedy delivery.
Though some children’s books only have their illustrations going for them, Kat Kong and Dogzilla are both really well written and engaging. Pilkey does well to add just the right amount of humor and drama to his feisty tails (haaaaaa, see what I did there??) and creates great kid-friendly retellings of King Kong and Godzilla, all while using pun-tastic language.
If I ever have kids, sure, I’d be thrilled if they took after younger me and read above their level, but honestly, sometimes you just need a book like Kat Kong or Dogzilla. Reading shouldn’t be a chore; it should be enjoyable! If you’re thinking, “I don’t have kids, so why would I read a kid’s book?” — stop that! Don’t let your kid count hold you back; read it to your pets, your partner, your bff, or just aloud to yourself in the living room. Why not? Have a little fun today and read something silly!