Stone Rabbit series by Erik Craddock
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Reason for Reading: Book 4 is a Cybils '10 nominee and as a panelist for Graphic Novels this is required reading for me. Whenever we get a series volume nominated that I haven't read the previous ones, I like to go back and read them so I can get a feel for the series as a whole. This is only if we are talking about the first 4 or less.
#1. BC Mambo. 96 pgs. 2009. With the help of some BBQ sauce rabbit discovers a bottomless pit in his bathroom. He falls in and ends up in prehistoric times. There he is pursued by meat-eating dinosaurs until he lands into a cave rabbit clan who take him for their god. But even more danger awaits the Rabbit clan. There are a lot of wordless panels carrying the action and sound effects. There is still plenty of text but it does come in spurts between the wordless sections. The story is pretty much action based and didn't entertain me much at all. Stone Rabbits frequent expletive of "crudmonkeys!" didn't tickle my funny bone either. Basic bad guy wants power, good guy saves the day in a fairly silly (not in a funny way) story. The artwork is bold, vibrant and fun. Reminiscent of what you see in cartoons on TV these days. Hope the next one improves. 2/5
#2. Pirate Palooza. 96 pgs. 2009. Stone Rabbit and his friend Andy are wrestling and they accidentally break the leg off his coffee table but on the way to the lumber store they are side tracked by a stop at the Comics & Collectibles store. Here they find a pirates pegleg that would be perfect for a cool coffee table leg. Not paying any mind to the legend and curse that comes along with the pegleg rabbit goes ahead and attaches the leg to his table only to summon back the spirit of Barnacle Bill and his ghostly crew of pirates where rabbit and Andy are recruited. Again another action based story with more pictures and sound effects than text. The story is typical of what you'd expect from a ghost pirate story and predictable but not entirely unenjoyable. Young children may enjoy the pure action. Better than book one but not by much. 2.5/5
#3. Deep-Space Disco. 96 pgs. 2009. - Another dud. This one is as bad as the first with a totally unbelievable story line. Rabbit walks out the door of a restaurant and a space alien shape shifted to look like him zaps him into his space ship and off he zooms to outer space where he is captured and presumed to be this guy Plutarkian a world destroyer. Meanwhile Plutarkian is back earth disguised as rabbit, but eventually takes his true form and starts zapping through the town destroying it with the intention of destroying the earth. Lots of BAM! ZREE! and AAUGH!, too many "crudmonkey"s and not funny in the slightest, just action scene after action scene. And what's up with Disco in the title? Alliteration should at least mean something... 2/5
#4. Superhero Stampede. 96 pgs. 2010 - I'll give #4 in this series credit that it was a little bit interesting. I've read several stories of kids being zapped into video games but this is the first time I can remember them being zapped into the pages of a comic. That's what happens to Rabbit, Andy, Turtle, Mr. Goat and Judy Goose when they are all at the comic store together. You know when you're reading a superhero comic and you look forward to the battle scene, well Superhero Stampede is pretty much just the battle scenes and nothing else. I will say though that #4 is an improvement on the first three books, there is some actual downtime, however brief. However, not enough, to save the book in my eyes from the same fate as the previous three. Poor storyline, continuous action scenes and overuse of Rabbit's unpleasant catch phrase "crudmonkeys!". 2.5/5
I highly recommend you give this series a skip, you won't miss a thing. Hard to believe but book #5 has already been published. If your kid wants to read them, go ahead but just hope they don't get a penchant for saying "crudmonkeys!" Am I the only one that phrase grates on. There are worse things your kid could do than read this series, such as, perhaps, eating glue.