What to Read After…Dog Man
Published on: 14 May 2023 Author: Dean Boddington
Dav Pilkey's Dog Man has been getting children reading for what seems like forever. The hilarious comic combines illustrations with an explosion of colour, with a wacky storyline! But after seven years and 11 books of laughter, you may be wondering where next? What will keep you laughing and loving reading? Here are our suggestions for you.
More Laugh Out Loud Comics
The humour in Dog Man is a huge part of its popularity so to keep that belly chuckling, we heartily recommend InvestiGators by John Patrick Green which follows two Alligator investigators (can you see how they got the name?). Mango and Brash find themselves in all sorts of ridiculous situations which will have readers roaring with laughter and rereading again and again.
For more crime fighting giggles, I suggest you try Agent Moose by Mo O’Hara and Jess Bradley. Agent Moose isn’t the best secret agent about, but luckily for him, his assistant Owlfred saves his embarrassment time and time again. The series reminds me of Inspector Gadget because of course no mission ever truly goes to plan, yet time and time again Agent Moose solves the case! So these are definitely worth a read!
Graphic Novel Non-Fiction
Adam Kayhas brought plenty of laughs to our house through his brilliant Kay’s Anatomy where he takes us on a non-fiction journey through the body. The illustrations bring his hilarious words to life. Learning and laughing, my two favourite things in one place! What’s not to love?
Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley’s series ‘A Day in the Life...’ has something for everyone! There are three in the series, looking at Animals, History and Space, and once you’ve read one, you’ll want to read the others because learning and laughing is something that no-one can resist!
Even More Excitement?
Dog Man and similar graphic novels are great for giggles, but some readers want a little more excitement. For fans of adventure, there can be no other choice than Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi. After a family tragedy, two children find their mum being taken by an unknown creature through a door in their basement. Without hesitation, they follow her through, intent on rescuing her. They certainly were not ready for the world that is awaiting them!
Lightfall by Tim Probert is a great fantasy quest that will leave readers frantically searching for the next book in the series. Join Bea and Cad as they meet and form an unlikely friendship and together they try to find Bea’s people. This is a slightly thicker graphic novel so it helps build children’s reading stamina too.
Ready For a More Serious Graphic Novel?
Many children love the accessibility of graphic novels but sometimes want something a little more serious. Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed combine for When Stars Are Scattered, based on Omar’s life in refugee camps with his disabled brother. This is the book that I always point people to who think that graphic novels cannot show emotions in the same way that a written novel can. It beautifully shows just how moving a good graphic novel can be.
A Step into Illustrated Novels
Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good by Louie Stowellis a good step into funny books that are illustrated enough to satisfy graphic novel lovers. It follows Loki in his banishment to Earth as he tries to prove to Odin that he can be good. Written as a diary and jam-packed with silly jokes, it’s difficult to see how anyone couldn’t love this!
Next up is a book that has brought many laughs into my family. Elys Dolan is a huge family favourite so her first illustrated chapter book is a must for this list. Rex: Dinosaur in disguise is a rapturous laugh-fest about Rex the dinosaur who is rudely awoken from slumber by his icy tomb defrosting... When he realises that the world has changed a lot in the millions of years he’s been napping, he has to adapt quickly... Can he find a job and survive in this crazy new modern world – and will anyone notice a dinosaur wandering around?
Something for Younger Readers
Younger children love looking at the pictures in these graphic novels but sometimes there’s a few too many words for beginner readers so for those children we fully recommend Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton. These short comics are the perfect introduction to graphic novels for newly confident readers. Set under the sea, they follow the adventures of quirky Narwhal and his sweet friend Jelly. There are plenty of laughs to be shared!
Jamie Smart, who many of you will know from his awesome Bunny Vs Monkey books, has a new series out for younger fans called Max & Chaffy. Max has recently moved and in search of a creature called a Chaffy but it is missing. Can you help Max find Chaffy?
Mo Willem’s Elephant and Piggie books are picture books that feature unlikely friends in bizarre situations. Our personal favourite is I am a Frog where Piggie teaches Elephant how to use his imagination to pretend to be something different. At 64 pages these are easily accessible for younger children and they often lead to performances from the reader. Including voices!
More by Dav Pilkey
Before Dog Man Dav had another hugely successful series which you will have definitely heard of. You may have watched the tv show or film but the books may have passed your reader by. So therefore Captain Underpants is a must read for fans of Dog Man as it has all of the same brilliant building blocks that make Dog Man so readable.
Dav also has another series, Cat Kid Comic Club, which is based in the world of Dog Man and features many known characters. The short comic strips make this just as easily accessible and just as lovable!
Those are some of our ideas – but what about you? What do you love reading?
Let us know by tweeting us @BookTrust using the hashtag #WhatToReadAfter
Dean Boddington is an Assistant Headteacher, parent and Book Blogger. He creates a monthly reading Newsletter - 'No Shelf Control' as well as producing recommendation resources for schools. Check out misterbodd.wordpress.com and facebook.com/no-shelf-control-reviews.