Book Review: My Life as a Cartoonist
Written by Janet Tashjian and Illustrated by Jake Tashjian
Reviewed by Daniel Robbins, age 10
I recently read the book My Life as
a Cartoonist. It is the third book in the “My Life as a ...” series,
written by Janet Tashjian and illustrated by Jake Tashjian.
main character in the book is a sixth-grade boy named Derek. When a new
student named Umberto who uses a wheelchair arrives in Derek’s class, he
is excited to meet him. Derek’s family is fostering a capuchin monkey
named Frank who will be trained to help people with physical
disabilities. He wants Frank to help Umberto, but after his first
encounter with Umberto it turns out getting help is the last thing on
With both boys loving to draw comic strips and
cartoons, you’d think that they would become friends. Nothing could be
further from the truth!
When Derek first meets Umberto, he asks
how he got to be in his wheelchair. Umberto, offended, insults Derek and
gives him a lame nickname: George, like the curious monkey. Umberto
soon becomes more and more of a bully toward Derek. He steals Derek’s
cartoon ideas and claims them as his own.
One thing leads to
another, and they both wind up in detention. Their punishment is to
create a comic strip together. With Umberto being so unkind and Derek
getting frustrated and angry, will they be able to complete their
assignment on time? Could they form a friendship?
well-written story with funny cartoons on every page, Derek learns how
to handle bullies and treat people with respect, even if they aren’t so
nice to him.
I really enjoyed My Life as a Cartoonist, and the
other books in the series. If you liked Diary of a Wimpy Kid or the
Captain Underpants books, I definitely recommend this series.