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Review: Apocalypse Bow Wow by James Proimos III

Apocalypse Bow Wow
By James Proimos III
Illustrated by James Proimos Jr.


ISBN: 9781619634428
Grades 3-6
Out Now

Find it at:
Schuler Books | Your Library

Dystopia. Although it’s been a popular theme lately in books for young people, my experience with it is fairly limited. Maybe I need to read more YA. One thing I do know, however, is that books that feature dystopian civilizations are usually not funny. Enter Apocalypse Bow Wow, an oddball graphic novel that manages to make the end of the human race the perfect setting for canine hijinx.

Outside, something terribly strange was going down.

Inside, a couple of dogs are wondering where their owner went. When Brownie and Apollo finally realize the people aren’t coming back, they venture outside and learn that there are other dogs in the same situation. And some aren’t so nice.

While fans of all things dystopian will enjoy this parody, readers who have no prior knowledge can enjoy it as well. Humor is the gateway, and this book is full of it. Really, dogs make the perfect survivors of the apocalypse. Lovable oafs, they are. Brownie and Apollo are slightly dim-witted, but always with the best intentions. Readers will be rooting for them as they laugh at their silliness.

The format of this book is interesting. I’d definitely call it a graphic novel, but more often then not, there is only one big panel on each page. It clocks in at 215 pages, but reads much faster than you might expect. Broken into short “scenes”, the snappy pacing keeps pages turning. The simple black and white illustrations are effective for the tone and pace of the story, often adding additional humor to situations.

One of the best recommendations you can give a young reader is “it’s really funny”. This book is really funny. Spread the word.

Review copy from the publisher.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.