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4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,281 Ratings  ·  670 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
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by GRAPHIX
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Lydia Bloxham probably transitions from Cam to Mike, but mostly just Cam. it kind of shows Marcus, but not that much.
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Nov 28, 2012 Laura rated it liked it

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
Charles Hatfield
Dec 05, 2012 Charles Hatfield rated it really liked it
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
Mrs W
Mar 05, 2013 Mrs W rated it liked it
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
Jon M
Oct 30, 2014 Jon M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
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
I don't typically read graphic-novels. My fourth graders love them, but it's not my favorite style.

I recently got a set of TenNapel's books from Scholastic and randomly picked this one up last night. I was in the mood for something quick.

The story was creative. A dad is out of work and has no money for his son's birthday. He brings him home a cardboard box and discovers that anything made with the cardboard can come to life.

A bad kid in the neighborhood gets a hold of the cardboard and create
Kim Brennan
Jun 07, 2015 Kim Brennan rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
( March 15, 2012; 9780545418720 )
With Ghostopolis (2010), Bad Island (2011), and the very recent Ratfist (2011) still practically hot out of the oven, TenNapel has hit a prolific stride, turning out stories featuring whacked-out science, organic weirdness, and a hefty emotional heart. Here a jobless father gives his son the only birthday gift he can afford in this crushing economy: a cardboard box. However, the two make a cardboard figure (of a boxer, naturally) and find themselves with
Ashley D--
Jun 09, 2013 Ashley D-- rated it it was ok
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
Robert Greenberger
Nov 01, 2012 Robert Greenberger rated it liked it
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
Gaven Murray
Jan 20, 2015 Gaven Murray rated it really liked it
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
Oct 31, 2014 Riley rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 20, 2015 Budd rated it it was amazing
My 10 year old daughter sits on my lap and tells me that I have to read this book. So, I start reading it out loud in a bad Australian accent (one of the first lines was someone saying "hello, Mike" and when I read it out-loud it sounded like hello, Mate. Then I couldn't stop, I recommend this reading method). I didn't know she had already read it, and she didn't care. We read the entire book in two sittings and it was great. Definitely something you should read, a modern fairy tale that would m ...more
Kolby Brooks
Mar 11, 2016 Kolby Brooks rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 01, 2012 Kathryn rated it liked it
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
Mar 26, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing
This is my first Graphic Novel and I loved it! Truly!

I bought this book as a Birthday gift. After the little dude was done, he immediately gave it to me to read. I'm so glad he did!

Dad is down out and out, thanks to the sucky economy(We can all relate), but it's son, Cam's birthday and he can't go home empty handed. He runs across a man selling odd gifts. The man gives him a card board box with 2 rules; Give the scraps back and ask for no more cardboard.
At home the neighborhood bully, Marcus p
Mar 23, 2015 Kaitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a graphic novel I've owned for a fair while but only just got around to reading and thus I didn't know exactly what to expect when I went into it. I also got this as a present so I didn't even know anything about what would be inside.

First off the art style of this book is not my favourite to begin with because there's a lot of very over exaggerated features and expressions. Whilst this has the effect of bringing to life the characters of the story and making it exciting and dynamic I fe
Justin Ortiz
Sep 30, 2015 Justin Ortiz rated it it was amazing
The book Cardboard-by Doug TenNapel is about a boy named Cam who gets a cardboard box for his birthday. Now his father knows that it's the worst birthday gift ever, but some how makes it the best gift ever. Marcus, "the neighborhood jerk" makes fun of the gift until he see's what Cam and his dad made out of the cardboard, a boxing cardboard man named Bill. A bout a day after while Cam was at the park with Bill Marcus and his friend Pink Eye took water guns and wet Bill until his cardboard legs ...more
Nov 20, 2014 Ian rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Apr 12, 2013 Kimberly rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-booktalks
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
Nov 10, 2012 Maureen rated it really liked it
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
Aug 27, 2012 Selina Lock rated it really liked it
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
Mar 08, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it
This book was surprisingly pretty awesome. It was nominated for a Beehive Book Award. We were challenged to read a nominated book as staff at the library I work at. None of the other YA nominations looked very interesting to me, so I picked this one up.
I get really annoyed when people call comic books graphic novels, and graphic novels comic books. I know that it's all kind of a grey area, but to me there is a distinct difference, and this was definitely a graphic novel.
The plot held my attent
Nov 07, 2014 Rebecca rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 27, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
Recommended to Amy by: Chandra
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
Nov 06, 2015 William rated it really liked it
This book was good but it had a lot of things that are not har to think of like "its not you its me" kind of stuff. This is about a boy that gets cardboard for his birth day. The father and son dont have much money. He dicides to make a boxing guy and then at mid night he comes to life. Then his crazy nebor get ahold of it and makes bdad things and now he has to save the city from them.
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
Nov 22, 2013 Justincasillas rated it it was amazing
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
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Mrs. Anderson's E...: Cardboard by Doug TenNapel 1 4 Dec 13, 2015 09:52AM  
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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