Allison's Book Bag

Series for Boys Who Hate to Read

Posted on: April 19, 2013

Is this party safe? Will the big toe of drool be in danger?

It’s a little kid’s birthday party. What could go wrong?

This is a conversation between Fangbone and Bill in The Birthday Party of Dread, the third in the graphic novel series by Michael Rex. To read my thoughts about this low-fantasy parody, check back on Saturday, April 20.


Like many illustrators, Michael Rex learned to draw at an early age and studied at a visual arts school. He had even long been a fan of artwork for children, although he never considered doing it himself. Instead Rex was interested in cartooning and wanted to start his own comic book. As he looked around for a way to make a living off his creations, he began to check out picture books. These felt right to him and his first published book hit the shelves in 1997.  Since that success, Rex has decided that picture books were the right choice for him. As he states at Herman Agency, “What I love about picture books to this day is that there is no set style. Anything goes. The more unique the style, the better.”


According to a blog post last fall about Fangbone, Rex designed the series for boys–especially those boys who hate to read.  He knew that the series was working , when he started getting letters from parents which expressed their appreciation that his books had gotten their son excited to read. At that same post by Rex, you can find a synopsis of all the books published to date, but I’m posting only the summary for book three below because that’s the book I’ll review on Saturday.

Book#3 features Bill having a curse put upon him.  The curse ensures his doom at the hands of a giant beast called “The Crusha.”  Fangbone and Bill are also preparing their entry in the school’s “Invention Convention,” and hatch a plan to trick the monster, and get a good grade on their invention at the same time.

Other fun news is that Disney XD Canada has ordered a full, 22-minute pilot for Fangbone. Rex’s role is that of Executive Producer.  He gets to review, comment, and sign-off on everything.  Rex reports that so far, his comments and suggestions have all been well received. He feels everything has been happening very quickly, as the contracts for the option were only signed in October, and he couldn’t be more thrilled to have such a great group of people working on a pilot for his books.


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Summer Reviews

Books can take connect us with strangers, take us to unique places, and introduce us to new ideas. They can also offer hope in a chaotic world. And so I must share what I read!

Each week, I’ll introduce you to religious books, Advanced Reader Copies, animal books, or diversity books. Some I’ll review as singles and others as part of round-ups. Just ahead, there will be reviews of:

  • Joni: The unforgettable story of a young woman’s struggle against quadriplegia & depression by Joni Eareckson
  • The True Story of the World’s Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary by Samantha Glen
  • Brothers in hope : the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan–refugees by Mary Williams
  • The Inner Life of Cats by Thomas McNamee



Cat Writers’ Association
Artists Helping Animals


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