Action Dude

­Printers Row. May 2024. 144p. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781667206479.
Gr 2-5–Nine-year-old Charlie Munderdrew is actually Action Dude! True to his name, Action Dude turns a simple errand for bread and milk into 10 chapters of action-hero adventure. The mayor contacts him when robots and animals at Prehistoric Land amusement park become hostile and dangerous to the visitors. When Police Chief Nina goes missing after an attempt to properly save the park visitors in her quadcopter, who are now hiding inside the Volcano of Lava, Action Dude takes control. A robot saber-toothed tiger, a log ride riddled with angry robot mammoths, real lava, and the uncovering of the evil mastermind will keep readers flying through the pages. Additional back matter includes how to draw Action Dude, questions from fans, and finally, the villain wrapping things up from his jail cell. Remarkably detailed stick figures drawn mostly in sepia tones are accented with bright colors when the action requires it. A mix of framed and open panels blend well with full-page illustrations, and fast-paced dialogue is complemented with fun labels and sound effects. The hero’s determined demeanor along with well-developed secondary characters create a story readers will want to experience again and again. Characters have a variety of skin tones; Action Dude has tan skin.
VERDICT Steeped in clever humor, this story is worthy of multiple readings and will leave readers wanting more. Give this one to fans of “Dog Man” and “Katie the Catsitter.”

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