I could practically start a fan site about Dav Pilkey. The guy is a genius! I’ll save commenting on his greatest contribution to English letters (the Captain Underpants series) for another day, but will instead say a few things about this earlier work.
As you could probably guess from the title, Kat Kong is a retelling of the King Kong story. One thing that is particularly striking about the book is that Pilkey took real pictures of a cat and several mice, his pets I’m guessing, and worked them into the illustrations. Nowadays this is a ubiquitous Photoshop type effect. But for Kat Kong it looks like Dav cut out photos and glued them to his paintings, collage style. It’s very charming and, well, COOL!
Also noteworthy is the humor. Sure, having the native mice on the island offer Kat Kong a can of tuna fish and chanting “Heeeer, Ki-tee Ki-tee!” is amusing. But what really tickled our funny bones when I just read it to my boys were the cat related expressions gags, like when they capture Kong and place him on the ship tied up tightly in a burlap sack, taking special care “not to let the cat out of the bag.” There are a couple of other hilarious bordering on groan inducing incidents that I won’t spoil. Taken together they actually served as a nice prompt for a mini-discussion about idioms. (Yes, we’re nerds.)
If you like this one, be sure to check out Pilkey’s similarly styled book, Dogzilla.