100 Scope Notes
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Review: Sidekicks by Dan Santat

By Dan Santat
Arthur A. Levine Books
ISBN: 9780439298117
$24.99 hardcover; $12.99 paperback
Grades 3-6
In Stores July 1, 2011

Let us be honest, folks – at this point, you could slap a cape on a coat rack, toss in a few one-liners and our current superhero-crazed culture would eat it up. Give Dan Santat credit then for creating something far from mindless – a superhero story that is skillfully plotted and artfully executed at every turn. Sidekicks is a graphic novel that plays on classic comic storylines, yet manages to make them completely modern. A dangerously entertaining mix.

Captain Amazing is getting on in years. When some derring-do puts him out of commission, the hero and puts out a call for a new sidekick. The Captain’s pets – hamster Fluffy, dog Roscoe, and Shifty the chameleon – do their best to fill the role. And fill it they do – coming through in the clutch to save Metro City from a villain making an unwelcome return.

Santat’s vivid artwork will turn heads. Dramatic full-color illustrations splash across each page, the energy palpable. Wide-angle panels give off a cinematic vibe that kids will eat up.

With the help of humor and a good dose of action, Sidekicks is bound to circulate until the cover falls off.

Review copy from publisher

Watch the Sidekicks book trailer:

Download a PDF preview of Sidekicks.

Also reviewed by A Fuse #8 Production.

Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.

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.


  1. I can’t wait to get this; one for me and some for each school.

  2. This will be a fan favorite – no doubt.


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