From the critics
Cardboard won me over and I had an excellent time reading it in one sitting over breakfast the other morning. I have to admit I was tentative heading into the book because: I wasn't crazy about TenNapel's "critically acclaimed" effort Bad Island , couldn't get into his Ratfist and only read the first few pages, and only decided to read this one at the request of a colleague who wasn't crazy about it. So I went in not expecting to care for the book and ended up pleasantly surprised. --- We have Cardboard in our teen collection and I'm not sure it belongs there, though. The protagonists are an out-of-work carpenter and his son who seems to be around ten, with the supporting characters being an adult neighbor, a neighborhood bully and peer of Cam's, and cardboard bill, another adult--so not a proper teen in sight. At least, the boys appeared preteen to me, though I don't think the book ever states their ages, and certainly works better if they are. For readers around age ten, this story works in quite a few issues with pretty good depth and complexity; for readers fifteen and up, I can see the issues feeling a bit more simplified and reduced. For younger readers, then, this is a rousing adventure with complicated characters and relationship issues. --- I think the moment, very early on, that fully won me over, was Gideon's presentation of the cardboard: --- "A good boy is rare indeed! . . . I have the best, most amazing, and utterly stupendous gift in the history of the universe . . . but I'm saving it for a really good kid!" --- "Gideon, this is an empty box." --- "Empty? It's full! Full of ideas . . . projects . . . adventure!" --- "He does like to make things." --- "Now you're getting it! Make a submarine, a monster, a train! It beats the heck out of some dumb ol' hundred-dollar, remote-controlled car! --- "To the nakes eye, it appears to be just a plain old cardboard vessel! But this is actually a father-and-son project in disguise! Slay the giant! Kill the Nazis! Hunt for buried treasure! It's up to you! --- "No, this is not just a box! It's everything mankind ever needed to accomplish pressed into a cube of corrugated pulp!" --- Of course, that speech takes on a whole new meaning once Mike and Cam realize that anything they make from the cardboard comes to life, complete with existential angst and a Pandora's box of trouble. --- Oh, and the artwork. Bright, vibrant, expressive, and angular, I'm not sure it would work for every story, but it suited this one excellently.
AgeAdd Age Suitability
Team_NMR thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12
lilybluesea thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over
navy_raven_16 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 8
olive_yak_7 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 51
kingkongjamaica thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over
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