With this fifth graphic novel in the Dog Man series, Dav Pilkey shows no signs of slowing down. Lord of the Fleas is packed with all the visual gags, bad puns, and nonstop silliness his readers have come to expect, along with (gasp!) a few genuinely heartfelt moments. As always, the art is funny, colorful, and engaging, rendered (supposedly) by Harold and George of Captain Underpants fame.
The plot kicks into motion when a supposed representative of Kitty Protective Services comes to take Lil’ Petey (the clone/son of Petey, the world’s most evil-est cat) away from Dog Man, who has been taking care of the kitten. Of course, the representative turns out to be none other than evil Petey himself in disguise. Through a series of flashbacks, Petey recounts to Lil’ Petey the tale of how he turned evil, interrupted at every turn by the kitten.
Lil’ Petey, by the way, is the true standout character of the book. A recognizable, hilarious little kid, he pesters adults with a litany of “Why? Why? Why?” and deliciously unfunny knock-knock jokes. (“Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” “A flower.” “A flower who?” “A flower pooped on your head!”)
When three badder bad guys show up, led by the villainous Piggy (in a nod to Lord of the Flies), Lil’ Petey tries to convince his father, “You can change, Papa.” He urges the doubtful Petey to fight on the side of good. Through an epic battle involving a robot brontosaurus, a giant cat robot, fight scenes in Flip-o-Rama, and massive silliness, the kitten continues his faith in Petey, helping him to see the light.
Along the way, Pilkey throws in tons of puns: Dog Man’s crime-fighting alter ego is The Bark Night, and when he’s hurled into a building labeled “Cannery Grow,” he grows to Godzilla size. There are jokes just for grownups, like the Lord of the Flies references or the goofy, Warhol-like paintings on the wall of Dog Man’s doghouse. And throughout, the dialogue is snappy and comical, as when Lil’ Petey wants to borrow an enormous can of spray paint. “Excuse me, Mr. Squirty, may I have this?” “OK, strange flying cyborg kitten I’ve never met before. Take whatever you like!”
It’s safe to say that Pilkey’s legions of readers will gobble up this latest installment of Dog Man like the hero himself would tackle premium dog chow.
This is the fifth book in the Dog Man series. While it is helpful if you have read the others, it is not necessary, as each book contains a brief summary. There is a lot that happens in this book. As we start this book, Dog Man, Lil’ Petey, and 80-HD are all enjoying breakfast. When Petey was young, he was part of the critter scouts with his friends Piggy (of course a pig), Crunky (an ape) and Bub (a crocodile). On an outing they betray Petey. He is kicked out of critter scouts but gets his revenge by causing a backlash against all critter scouts. Now, the three have come back as the FLEAS (Fuzzy Little Evil Animal Squad) to get their revenge on Petey (and then conquer the world) using a robot brontosaurus.
Book: Dog Man: Lord of the FleasAuthor and Illustrator: Dav PilkeyPages: 229 (253 with added activities)Published: 2018Rating: 5 out of 5 starsAge Suggestion: 8+Warnings: NoneQuick Summary: Petey tells us about an incident from his past when some of his friends betrayed him and ruined his life. He, in turn, ruined theirs. Now they are back seeking revenge! They want to hurt Petey by taking away Lil’ Petey. Then, of course, conquer the world. Can Dog Man and his friends stop this evil scheme? And will Petey survive Lil’ Petey’s knock-knock jokes?
The primary point of this book is Lil’ Petey convincing Petey to be good. And it starts to work, not because of great arguments or reasoning, but because of Lil’ Petey’s love for Petey. I think for anyone, but for Christians in particular, there is a lesson here. We sometimes forget that God started by loving us. We need to do the same first before we try all of those arguments.
A Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas review by the Hobbit on 4/5/20 This post contains affiliate links, you can find out more on our policies page or in the disclaimer at the bottom of the blog.
All of our characters are caught up in the mayhem that ensues. Lil’ Petey convinces Petey to go back and help instead of trying to just save them. This is a major step in Petey’s conversion from a villain to being good. One running joke is Lil’ Petey constantly telling knock knock jokes that don’t make a lot of sense (but help win the battle against the FLEAS). In the end, the FLEAS are shrunk, defeated (in a very humorous way), and disappear (but Dog Man has suddenly developed the need to scratch himself…)
In Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild, Piggy disguises himself as Dog Man. He then steals money from a bank and frames Dog Man for the crime. Dog Man is sentenced to 14 dog years of hard labor at Dog Jail and taunted as a misfit. The Chief, aided by a robot named 80-HD, mounts a rescue. Dog Man and his friends save the city from destruction by a giant clay gyro monster, but Dog Man continues to wonder if he really is a misfit. His friends confide that they sometimes feel they do not fit in, making it clear that Dog Man is perfectly normal.
This guide includes Book 5 and Book 6 of the series of graphic novels. In the series, two fifth graders, George and Harold, are the writer and cartoonist of the series. Their story is that a really good police officer and his police dog were in a horrible explosion. The cops head and the dogs body were dying. A nurse came up with the idea to sew the dogs head on the cops body, and Dog Man was created. He is a super crime fighter, though he has some faults, such as his tendency to chew up important things and to jump on the Chief. Dog Mans arch nemesis is Petey, an evil cat who occasionally tries to be good. In these two graphic novels, Dog Man encounters a new group of villains. They are a pig named Piggy, a crocodile named Bub, and an ape named Crunky. Dog Man lives in an elaborate doghouse with Lil Petey, who is Peteys clone but he is a small kitten and is ultimately good.
In Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas, Dog Man and Lil Petey answer a knock on the door and discover an official from Kitty Protective Services who demands that Lil Petey be in kitten school. Lil Petey immediately recognizes the cat as Petey in disguise. Petey reveals that he was in the Critter Scouts as a young kitten, and was kicked out after an incident in which the scouts turned on each other. Petey then caused an issue that forced the Critter Scouts to disband altogether. The other three scouts, Piggy, Bub, and Crunky, are now seeking revenge against Petey and plan to hurt Lil Petey. Petey plans to run away, but Lil Petey convinces him to stay and fight Piggy, who has become a villain. After a series of battles, Petey, Lil Petey, and Dog Man triumph. Petey is taken back to Cat Jail. Since he still must serve time for previous crimes, he tells Lil Petey that he sees no reason to try to be good. Lil Petey assures him that he should try anyway.
The story starts out as Dog Man (half dog half cop), Lil’ Petey (friendly non-evil immature clone of the villain Petey), and 80-HD (their robot friend) form the superhero group Supa Buddies where they each have alter-egos that fight crime. Shortly after, Petey arrives claiming to be the psychiatrist Dr. Katz to take Lil’ Petey too school, but soon is forced to reveal that he has done so under false pretenses because Lil’ Petey is in danger. Lil’ Petey’s history is coming back for him as he recounts a story from when he was a child when he and members of his scout group were stranded on a desert island. Those other members have a grudge against Petey for his actions that day and they have returned for revenge!
Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas is a 2018 graphic novel for kids, the fifth in the Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey (creator of Captain Underpants). The series so far has been reviewed here.
Very fun series for kids, and simple enough that kids learning to read can make a lot of progress with a book like this, motivated by the humor to learn more.
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