BOOK of the week

Nick's History Is as Good as Goo

Sunday, January 27, 2008

You can judge a book by its cover. At least, you can if the cover is squishy, filled with green slime and shows dozens of the best cartoon characters of the past 15 years.

This hefty collection -- five pounds and nearly 300 oversize pages -- is a treasure trove of Nickelodeon's original cartoon series. The history lesson begins on Aug. 11, 1991, with the premiere of the first three Nicktoons: gross-out cat-and-dog pair "Ren & Stimpy"; sensitive and caring "Doug"; and the wise, large-headed baby "Rugrats."

Among the book's many highlights:

¿ An original storyboard from "Ren & Stimpy."

¿ Hints about how to draw Chuckie of "Rugrats" and Reggie Rocket of "Rocket Power."

¿ A history of "Oh Yeah, Cartoons!" The series' 120 shorts included the first appearances of future hits "Chalk Zone," "Fairly OddParents" and "My Life as a Teenage Robot."

¿ The evolution of "SpongeBob SquarePants." At one time the lovable character was called "Spongeboy." "Bob the sponge" also appeared in a 1989 comic strip.

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