Reviews for Ricky Ricotta's Giant Robot


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2000 Fall
A lonely mouse, bullied at school, befriends a giant robot. After putting a stop to the bullying, the robot saves Squeakyville when his creator, Doctor Stinky, tries to destroy the town. Without the subversive quality of the author's similar Captain Underpants series, the book is only mildly amusing and very slight. Ontiveros's cartoonlike illustrations, featuring flip-book action, are rendered in a style not unlike Pilkey's own. Copyright 2000 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 1999 December #2
The mind behind the redoubtable Captain Underpants teams up with a new illustrator for a new series, featuring a pipsqueak mouse and his humongous metal friend. Enraged when his new robot refuses to destroy nearby Squeakyville, mad doctor Stinky McNasty turns a classroom lizard into a monster with a drop of Hate Potion #9. In the meantime, the robot, having bonded with little Ricky, intimidated the bullies who threw his backpack in the garbage, and taken up residence in his garage, lumbers into battle, saving the day in a flurry of reader-animated ``Flip-O-Rama'' scenes. In thick-lined cartoons, the hamfisted robot looks like Popeye in sheet metal; the bad guys all have squinty eyes; the fight is all. Children younger than the Captain's readership may find this droll, but Pilkey's just treading water; so rudimentary is the plot, so stock the characters, and so free is this of humor, that it may sink like the proverbial lead balloon. (Fiction. 7-9) Copyright 2000 Kirkus Reviews

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Library Talk Reviews 2000 May
Ricky Ricotta is a little mouse who wishes for a special friend, especially during his walk to school, when bullies pick on him every day. Then a giant robot, built by an evil scientist, is sent to stomp the city. (Readers are supposed to quickly flip pages at this point, "animating" the action.) When the robot finds he cannot destroy the city, Ricky defends him from the evil scientist. They become best friends. The evil scientist, however, still trying to destroy the city, attacks again, this time with a monster. (Again, readers "animate" the action in the air battle between the monster and the robot and Ricky by flipping pages.) Justice prevails when a large rocket destroys the evil scientist's secret cave, while Ricky and the giant robot learn the value of true friendship. Children can identify with Ricky's loneliness and being bullied when reading this short novel. They will root for the robot and Ricky in the battles pitting good against evil, which are made even more exciting b "animating" the action. The illustrations are in b&w and occupy most of each page. The story is written at a lower reading level, but the interest level for it would go higher, and it will especially appeal to those readers who like a lot of action. Recommended. Susan Black, Librarian, Arlee (Montana) Elementary School © 2000 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2000 January #1
"Some day something BIG will happen, and you will find a friend," his father tells Ricky, a lonely mouse whose diminutive stature makes him a target of bullies. Mr. Ricotta is only partially right: Ricky does find a friend, but nothing of consequence happens in this slim volume the first in a series. The book features the same "flip-o-rama" technique (readers flip certain pages back and forth, creating the effect of animation) as do Pilkey's Captain Underpants titles. Unfortunately, both the artwork (which looks suspiciously like Pilkey's) and the plot lack the wry bite and comic energy of that earlier series. Evil Dr. Stinky McNasty creates an enormous robot that refuses to obey a command to stomp out Ricky's hometown of Squeakyville. When the mad doctor tries to punish his uncooperative invention, the tiny mouse comes to the defense of the giant robot and it follows him home. Ricky's new "pet" bests the bullies, wows Ricky's class at school and manages to foil Dr. Stinky's attempt at revenge. Pilkey's tale may well give timid or bullied kids a shot of reassurance, but its humor falls as flat as Dr. Stinky's attempt to destroy the city. In eight adventures scheduled to follow, Ricky's robot battles creatures from other planets. Ages 6-10. (Feb.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2000 February #3
"Some day something BIG will happen, and you will find a friend," his father tells Ricky, a lonely mouse whose diminutive stature makes him a target of bullies. Mr. Ricotta is only partially right: Ricky does find a friend, but nothing of consequence happens in this slim volume the first in a series. The book features the same "flip-o-rama" technique (readers flip certain pages back and forth, creating the effect of animation) as do Pilkey's Captain Underpants titles. Unfortunately, both the artwork (which looks suspiciously like Pilkey's) and the plot lack the wry bite and comic energy of that earlier series. Evil Dr. Stinky McNasty creates an enormous robot that refuses to obey a command to stomp out Ricky's hometown of Squeakyville. When the mad doctor tries to punish his uncooperative invention, the tiny mouse comes to the defense of the giant robot and it follows him home. Ricky's new "pet" bests the bullies, wows Ricky's class at school and manages to foil Dr. Stinky's attempt at revenge. Pilkey's tale may well give timid or bullied kids a shot of reassurance, but its humor falls as flat as Dr. Stinky's attempt to destroy the city. In eight adventures scheduled to follow, Ricky's robot battles creatures from other planets. Ages 6-10. (Feb.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2000 April
Gr 2-4-In an accessible, highly illustrated format, Pilkey writes an adventure story with great appeal to lonely little guys everywhere. Ricky Ricotta is a nice mouse who is the victim of daily bullying. He longs for a friend, but is still waiting to find one. Luckily for Ricky, a mad scientist, Dr. Stinky McNasty, has created a giant robot that he is planning to use to rule the world. The robot refuses to destroy the city and Ricky stops McNasty from hurting it. Soon the robot and the mouse are great friends, and Ricky no longer has to worry about bullies. McNasty seeks revenge by turning Ricky's classroom pet lizard into an evil monster, but the robot defeats it and puts the villain in jail. Ontiveros's black-and-white cartoons have lots of activity, and the two "flip-o-rama action scenes" add to the fun. Instructions for drawing the robot and lizard monster are also included. With barely more text than a long easy-reader, this title will be a heaven-sent choice for kids with reading difficulties. And, they'll be thrilled to discover that this is just the first in a planned series.-Anne Connor, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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