If you haven’t heard of First Dog on the Moon, let me illuminate:
First Dog on the Moon is Australia’s only Walkley award-winning marsupial-based cartoonist and has done all sorts of things including books, radio, stage shows and a lot of lying down
First Dog on the Moon cartoons feature weekly in The Guardian and are typically silly-yet-scathing takedowns of politicians and the various ways in which they fail us.
I picked this long-form version of First Dog up from the library, as I always enjoy the cartoons when I stumble across them (usually posted on the Australian subreddit).
It follows the usual art style and zany humour I’ve come to expect, this time focussing on a team of environmental superheros trying to save turtles, destroy micro-beads, and end climate change. The ‘Goodies’ in this story include such colourful characters as:
- ‘The climate change awareness pomeranians’
- ‘Melissa the Prime Minister’s giant anteater’
- ‘Binky – an echidna and a platypus. It’s complicated but it is all explained in Chapter 3. Or is it?!’ (it’s not!)
- ‘Worried Norman – a young fellow who becomes Pastry Person! A baked goods based superhero’
Like I said: zany.
The story it tells includes lots of little factoids and science-asides to flesh out the serious aspects of the climate crisis, which the Enviroteens are trying to avert. There is a lot going on in this book!
When I reached the end, I had found it enjoyable enough. But I kept thinking: who is this for? I don’t think it’s for me, as I didn’t learn anything new nor find it laugh-out-loud funny or even inspiration. I’ve since learned it’s aimed for 10 to 14 year olds (clearly it was shelved in the wrong part of the library!). I suppose left-leaning parental fans of First Dog are probably gifting this to their tweens to read. There are references to the School Strike for Climate within, so that makes sense.
I think I’ve learned, for me at least, that a little bit of First Dog on the Moon goes a long way. But if you have a budding teenaged or tweenaged environmentalist in your house, this would probably be a fun read.
3 nefarious sockweasles out of 5.