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Cardboard

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  5,062 ratings  ·  526 reviews
When cardboard creatures come magically to life, a boy must save his town from disaster.

Cam's down-and-out father gives him a cardboard box for his birthday and he knows it's the worst present ever. So to make the best of a bad situation, they bend the cardboard into a man-and to their astonishment, it comes magically to life. But the neighborhood bully, Marcus, warps the
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by GRAPHIX
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Laura

Every page in Doug TenNapel’s Cardboard pops to life with color, action, imagination, and heart!

Cam and his Dad are going through a rough time. Both trying to find a way to live without Cam’s mother. Loneliness, grief, and fear show up throughout the story in heartbreaking quiet ways and not so subtle ways. Add no job, financial woes, bully troubles, and a birthday—well these guys have their hands full! Cam’s father needs a miracle or a bit of magic to afford a gift for his son’s birthday. And m
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Charles Hatfield
I'd say Doug TenNapel is a sure bet: everything I've read by him (admittedly only a sliver of everything he's done) is smart, brisk, accessible, and graced with enticing high concepts and obvious emotional hooks. He cartoons with brio, he's prolific and seemingly always on full boil (what, about a graphic novel a year?), and so I have to believe he loves his work. Cardboard, a broad, eager, winning fantasy, is his latest, and takes off like a rocket from a simple, tantalizing premise: a widower ...more
Jon M
This book is about a carpenter and father, raising his young boy by himself, and struggling to provide for the both of them. He's looking for a birthday gift for his son and finds a man selling toys on the side of the road. He doesn't have much money, and buys a cardboard box, what the seller says is a great father-and-son project... but, there are two rules that come with buying this box. He has to give the scraps back and he can't ask for more.

So with the box, he and his son crafts a boxer, wh
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Ashley D--
It's hard to review this book. The adventure part of the story was fine, and it was kind of interesting to read a comic with so many super-conservative messages in it. It was your typical set-up of a Really Good Guy just trying to Provide For His Family. The first thing you learn about the RGG is that he's too--I don't know--Republican or something to accept much-needed welfare to feed his son during the Hard Times (mancession?). Of course, there's some Marilyn Manson-loving freak who, in a comp ...more
Mrs W
Mar 05, 2013 Mrs W rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
Mike is an out-of-work carpenter and a widower with a young teen son, Cam. When Mike can’t afford a birthday present for Cam, he encounters a strange toy salesman who offers him a cardboard box for under a dollar. The man gives Mike some rules: he has to return any unused cardboard and he can’t have more.

Mike and Cam make a boxer out of the cardboard, and the boxer comes to life. “Bill” and Cam are fast friends, but when Cam’s wealthy and mean-spirited neighbor Marcus decides he wants magic card
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Robert Greenberger
From my ComicMix review:

I find Doug TenNapel a maddeningly inconsistent storyteller. He goes from the wonderful Ghostopolis to the disappointing Bad Island while delivering inventive graphics aided with strong color. Now we have Cardboard, which starts off with such promise and right around the halfway mark things spiral entirely out of control and become way too over the top.

Mike is an independent carpenter who recently lost his wife and the sour economy means he’s inching towards bankruptcy. W
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Jennifer
Cardboard is one of those books which will probably divide readers (particularly adult readers) in the same way that evolving language divides linguists into prescriptivists and descriptivists. Sure, it's not my cup of tea (after one image early in the book, I will do my best to never, ever, ever get pink eye ... and quite possibly to stop reading while eating), and I felt some of the Life Lessons of the book were simultaneously too heavy-handed and too blithe. Yet that first complaint is irrele ...more
Riley
I didn't know what to expect when I picked this book up. I wasn't really sure if I was going to like it because of the graphic novel format and the plot, but you know what they say! Don't judge a book by its cover! That statement is definitely true in this case, I just couldn't put this book down! It was humous and had a great sense of adventure in it! I high recommend this book to anyone that wants a quick fun read! :)
Paul  Hankins
Here's a graphic novel you'll want to recommend to your middle grade/young adult readers as part of a 40 Book Reading Invitation.

Inventive look at life, death, loss, and grieving.

This graphic novel reads like Gremlins meets UPS. And I love it.

When an out of work widow goes to find his son a birthday present with his last seventy-eight cents, a mysterious man has just the gift--a cardboard box. But this box comes with certain rules. And these rules need to be followed lest the world fall into co
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Kathryn
Cardboard
Doug TenNapel

I enjoyed Cardboard for two reasons. It was face-paced (as any graphic novel, I suppose) and creative. I usually do not like graphic novels, but this one was okay. It was extremely creative and was fun to read. It encourages imagination and has a good "moral to the story."

The protagonist, Cam, is a young boy who receives from his father the worst birthday present. Together father and son create something out of nothing and go on an extraordinary adventure.

There are also s
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Gaven Murray
Cardboard by Doug TenNapel Cam doesn't like his birthday present at first after all it is a cardboard box but him and dad make the best out of it by building a cardboard boxing man named bill but in the wee hours of night the cardboard box man comes to life. Marcus the neighbor hood bully steals the cardboard maker and accidentally creates an evil cardboard army that destroys the neighborhood. And tina is the nice lady next door thats in love with dad but hes too afraid of letting go of the past ...more
Ian
I think that this is one of the best graphic novels I've ever read. along with Bad Island & ghostopolis all by Doug TenNapel. Its about a father and son who don't have a lot of money. When the book starts out its the boy Cams birthday and his dad wants to get him a good present. On the way back to his house a street vender named "old man Gideon" sells him a cardboard box. When he brings the box home his son decides to make something out of it. When they are done Cam decides to sleep on the c ...more
Rebecca
Cam's father is not having an easy time--his wife has died, and he can't find any work to support himself and his son. With his last few coins, he buys Cam a cardboard box for his birthday, thinking they could make something out of it. The man who sells him the cardboard tells him there is a rule for using it, though--he must return all the scraps that he doesn't use. Cam and his father make a boxing man with the cardboard, then are stunned when he comes to life. Cam loves his protective new bud ...more
Samantha
A single father struggling to make ends meet buys a cardboard box from a strange vendor for his son's birthday. What he doesn't know is that the cardboard is enchanted. When he and his son, Cam, set to work to make a world-famous boxer they are surprised when it comes to life!

Marcus, the neighborhood bully, while he has anything a boy could ever want, is jealous of Cam's cardboard creation and devises a way to steal some of the cardboard for himself. When he uses the enchanted cardboard to brin
...more
Kimberly
Some of you may remember we had a book from Doug TenNapel last year called Bad Island. This was my own very first venture into graphic novels, and with that book, I became a fan. I’ve also just learned that he is also a musician and an Eisner Award-winner artist. (The Eisner Award is given for creative achievement in American comic books, and is sometimes referred to as the Oscars of the comic book industry.)
Cardboard: like a zombie apocalypse, except with cardboard.
As far as stories go, this mi
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Maureen
This graphic novel has a creative story line that will capture the imagination of kids. Cam's father is down on his luck and doesn't have much money for a birthday present for Cam. He runs into a vendor who offers a cardboard box. Cam's father knows that Cam is a good boy and will love whatever he gets. Cam and his father spend the night creating a boxer named Bill out of the cardboard. However, Cam's father forgot the 2 rules of the vendor: return any scrapes and he can't get any more cardboard ...more
Selina Lock
Mike is trying his best to keep his head above water and provide for his son Cam, but there's not much carpentry work around. Desperate to buy Cam something for his birthday he stops off at a cheap toy stall and ends up buying a cardboard box. There are two rules that go with buying the cardboard - you have to tale all the scraps of cardboard back and you can't ask for any more cardboard.

Cam obviously thinks this is the worst birthday present ever, especially when spoilt, local bully Marcus rubs
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Rebecca
Once again I picked up another graphic Novel. The other book trouble maker made me want to read another graphic Novel so I decided to pick this up because everybody said it was really good, and it was. You have to use your imagination a little more than in regular book but it turns out to have a cute quick story to it. I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys graphic Novels and also someone who is looking for a quick read. I started this today and finished it today so its a fasts read.
Amy
I am not a huge reader of graphic novels, but I am coming to appreciate them more and more. Cardboard is, I think, an especially well done graphic novel. The illustrations are fantastic, and I love how they convey so much about the characters, what kind of person they are supposed to be, and what they are feeling at any given time. The book also deals with some complex issues; joblessness, loss, self-image, insecurity, love, among others. I think that any school age kid would enjoy the story. It ...more
Lara
Down-on-his-luck dad Mike doesn't have enough money to buy his son Cam a birthday present, until he happens upon a mysterious toy seller who offers him a cardboard box for $.78--as long as he follows two simple rules. Of course, the rules get broken and chaos ensues, but, also of course, more than goes wrong with the cardboard comes right in the end.

I liked this one a lot--great illustrations, fun, interesting story, some amusing lines. There were a couple of things that irritated me (view spoi
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Justincasillas
It takes place in a small town. Ok so it's a boy name cam birthday and his father mike buys him a cardboard from a homeless person. It isn't just any cardboard it's magic. So there is this bully hue make fun of cam for his birthday present. So cam and his father mike make a cardboard person. The person comes to life and instantly cam and bob(the cardboard person) become best friends. So the bully finds cam with bob and wet bob so bob starts to fall apart. Then they take bob left over and make a ...more
Tracey
The best part about this book is the art. I mean, damn. I was forgetting to pay attention to the actual story because the drawings were much more entertaining than the words. That is not to say that the writing was bad. The story was great with real tender and heartbreaking moments between the characters. Cam's father is without a job and can't afford to buy his son a birthday present. A weird street merchant sells him some "magic" cardboard that comes to life when you create something out of it ...more
Wendy
A quirky story about a dad and his son and a jerk neighbor boy. And cardboard.

Did not think I'd enjoy a book about magical cardboard.

I can just see Doug looking for ideas for his next book, and he flips through one of those plot-finder deck of cards you can get at Barnes and Noble or somewhere.

He shuffles the cards and the first one he selects is: cardboard.

Next one: birthday.

Another: unemployed dad who's trying to make it after his wife dies.

A character: pugilist.

Another character: manipu
...more
Rebecca
Jul 09, 2013 Rebecca rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Rebecca by: Mark Richardson (my brother)
Destruction by the thing the was meant to save... a theme well explored... but this time with magic cardboard.

TenNapel proves himself a gifted illustrator and a clever constructor of worlds. The protagonist was a bit one dimensional, but I am getting the sense that this is par for graphic novels. This genre seems to love the ultimate hero (especially the Y.A. stories).

A quick and fun read. The book was easily read by the twenty people we vacationed with this last week. It was reread by my sist
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Jessica Manning
What a delightful read. Cardboard is a wonderful story about family, imagination, and the ability to overcome ones short comings. Doug TenNapel has created a magnificent piece of work that everyone can enjoy!
Debra
An out-of-work father is struggling to find work and, of all days, find some money to provide a birthday present for his son. He finds a seller of toys, but all he can afford is the one item offered by the seller - several sheets of cardboard.. But it comes with rules - you will get no extras, and you must bring any scraps back. The boy is delighted and together they set out to build a cardboard figure together. But it isn't regular cardboard, the figure comes alive. From there it just gets bett ...more
Rebecca Schwarz
Just great! The art is fantastic and the story is exciting and full of heart. my 9YO has already read it multiple times.
Scott
What would you do with a magical cardboard machine that makes anything you want out of cardboard? Could things get out of hand? Doug TenNapel's graphic novel examines what the consequences are of having powers so omnipotent that things may just go awry. Themes of family, friendship, loss, greed, and determination drives the insanely quirky, fast paced narrative along with TenNapel's always clever dosage of humor and imaginative artwork. After reading this, you may not look at a cardboard box the ...more
Noah
I like TenNapel's obsession with "creation" and what happens when you create things, and how that all obviously parallels Creation. I did think it unfortunate that the bad kid's becoming good coincided with becoming clean cut, but whatever. And personally I did like the stuff about Bill becoming real somehow; liked that it wasn't at all explained, and I liked the question of whether the things you create and give life to will find a place in Heaven. Nice stuff. Wish I'd found this kind of stuff ...more
Amanda
This book was okay. It was not a such a great book with a bad story line. One only problem I had was with the fact that 1) Someone spends 76 cents on a BOX!!! and 2) Why a child would be excited to get a box for his birthday.

It's Cam's birthday, and his father has no money to buy him a gift, and he feels horrible. On his way home from his job search, he drives past a toy booth that claims to have "cheap" toys. He spend 76 cents on a "magic" cardboard box, with rules. The only rule are, 1) He m
...more
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Book review. 2 7 Sep 28, 2014 08:41PM  
BYU-Adolescent Li...: Cardboard 1 1 May 26, 2014 01:47PM  
ENG 580 Spring 2014: Cardboard 1 2 May 06, 2014 03:18PM  
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