Batman Rewatch: Nothing to Fear

  • Season 1, episode 3
  • Writers: Henry T. Gilroy & Sean Catherine Derek
  • Director: Boyd Kirkland

It took me a lot longer to post this episode than I had planned. Zoey simply wouldn’t watch it. She saw it once before, and the Scarecrow scared the bejeezus out of her. I just couldn’t convince her to watch it again. So this “rewatch” recap will be light on the Zoey commentary. I’ll let Bruce show you how that makes me feel.

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5 Questions with Pinky & The Brain

(previously in this series: 5 Questions with Alan Muraoka from Sesame Street)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. This time, Zoey had the opportunity to sit with Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche–the voices behind Pinky and The Brain–at this year’s Awesome Con in Washington, DC!

Of course, they’re also the voices of hundreds of other characters, and their filmographies read like an exhaustive list of animation from the 80s through today (including Transformers, GI Joe, Inspector Gadget, The Simpsons, Futurama, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ben 10, The Tick, and on and on and on…).

Zoey, however, knows them best from Animaniacs, Pinky & The Brain, and Rescue Bots (where Maurice LaMarche is the voice of Chief Burns).

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runDisney Kids’ Races

Since today is the day that registration opens up to the general public for the 2015 Walt Disney World marathon in January, I thought I’d take this opportunity to report on one of the best aspects of any runDisney event: the kids’ races.

Disney bills the 5k as a “family-friendly fun run,” but 3.1 miles is still a heckuva distance for the littlest ones among us. In response, they’ve set up the kids’ runs, which have a “race” for every member of the family–right down to babies crawling in the diaper dash.

We happened to be in Orlando and at Walt Disney World last October during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Timed to coincide with that event is the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. We couldn’t resist signing the kids up for a race and checking out what runDisney has to offer our youngest athletes.

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The Misadventures of Salem Hyde, Book 2

  • The Misadventures of Salem Hyde, Book 2: Big Birthday Bash
  • written and illustrated by Frank Cammuso
  • published by Amulet Books (Abrams)
  • Roar Score: 3/5

(For our review of Salem Hyde, Book One, click here.)

Salem and Whammy are back. This time, Salem has been invited to a birthday party and wants to give the best birthday present ever. Alas, Whammy is still there to make sure she doesn’t use her magic.

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Cleopatra in Space

  • Cleopatra in Space, Book 1: Target Practice
  • written and illustrated by Mike Maihack
  • published by Graphix (Scholastic)
  • Roar Score: 5/5

If the title doesn’t grab your attention, you might want to check your pulse. And if the cover doesn’t totally captivate you, then you might seriously be dead. Consult your physician.

This is a book that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. I was overjoyed when I heard that Scholastic had decided to publish it and give it a treatment that the story and art deserve. Cleopatra in Space is the creation of the awesomely amazing artist Mike Maihack — an artist we love so much in our house that I might border on hyperbole here. Apologies.

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Captain Action Cat

  • Captain Action Cat #1: The Timestream CATastrophe!
  • written and illustrated by Art Baltazar
  • written by Franco & Chris “Zod” Smits
  • published by Dynamite Comics
  • Roar Score: 4/5

I’ll admit it. We’ll buy pretty much anything by the Aw Yeah! guys. Super-Pets, Tiny Titans, Superman Family Adventures, even Battlestar Galactica(!). Art and Franco can do no wrong in my house.

So when we saw Captain Action Cat beckoning to us from the slew of new comics this week, we had to have it. And it doesn’t disappoint.

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Star Wars #5 (Marvel)

Issue #5 (November 1977): Lo, The Moons of Yavin!

  • Writer/Editor: Roy Thomas
  • Illustrators: Howard Chaykin & Steve Leialoha

Moving toward the conclusion of the movie. Before diving in, we’ve got another doozy of a cover. Talk about your misdirection! This is what I love about old comics like these. What you see on the cover was almost never what you found inside. I mean, c’mon, the Death Star is right there! It’s not in orbit; by all rights, it should be crashing into the planet at this point. But, oh no! Look out! It knocked over a wall with that laser beam!

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Ella

(previously in this series: Hubert’s Hair-Raising Adventure)

Continuing our journey through the career of Bill Peet, we pick up Ella (1964) this week. I had originally wanted to do the books in chronological order, but (1) I don’t own all of them, especially since a few are long out of print and very difficult/pricey to obtain; and (2) I can’t seem to find a definitive bibliography of his books in order of publication. If anyone has one, please send it my way. In the meantime, I’ll do the best I can.

Ella is the story of a circus elephant who is bit of a prima donna.

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The Big Wet Balloon

  • The Big Wet Balloon
  • written and illustrated by Liniers (Ricardo Liniers Siri)
  • published by Toon Books (Candlewick Press)
  • Roar Score: 5/5

It seems appropriate to feature this book today, as it was just recognized in a BIG way with an Eisner Award nomination for Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7). The publisher, Toon Books, must be conflicted since three of the five nominees in this category are their books! (The other two are Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas by Philippe Coudray and Otto’s Backwards Day by Frank Cammuso. We have the latter and can attest to its awesomeness.)

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Ms. Marvel

Why I read Ms. Marvel to my 5-year-old daughter

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I don’t know who I’m supposed to be. . . . I want to be beautiful and awesome and butt-kicking and less complicated.” —Kamala Khan

When I picked up the first two issues of the new run of Ms. Marvel, they were in a stack of “kid stuff” for my daughter. I think we also had a Super-Pets book and a Scooby-Doo comic in there. The cashier made a point to ask if these two were for me (and not, presumably, for my daughter who was beside me). After a hesitant “yes?” on my part, he simply said, “good.”

I took another look at the covers. Rated T+. I hadn’t noticed anything really offensive during my initial flip through either. Maybe I missed something? After we got home, I read both and instantly fell in love. And, nope, I hadn’t missed anything offensive. I’m assuming they’re rated T+ for some drug and alcohol references. I don’t think ratings are given based on cultural references.

At this point, there’s really nothing I can say about the new Ms. Marvel or Kamala Khan that hasn’t been said (better) elsewhere. This is not meant to be a synopsis or review of the books. This is an explanation for why I think this might be the perfect character for my 5-year-old daughter.

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