Reviews for Watch Out for Wolfgang


Kirkus Reviews 2009 January #2
Who's afraid of the big bad recycler? In Carrick's riff--his authorial debut--on "The Three Little Pigs," a mother robot sends her sons out to build their own factories, warning, "But you must build them big and strong to keep out Wolfgang the Recycler." Though Mother worries he will disassemble her boys and make them into kitchen appliances, when Wolfgang outwits anxious Rod and vain Slick, he attaches their parts to himself. Ultimately, the third brother, odd, mud-loving Dudley, triumphs. The author/illustrator is a recycler himself, using found materials in bold, full-bleed, mixed-media illustrations to capture each robotic character's metallic uniqueness. However, the pacing of words and pictures sometimes falters, leaving readers unsure of which part of the text is depicted. Further, while the traditional porcine tale's moral lauds the value of hard work and logic, the message implied by Dudley's victory--be yourself and you will defeat the wolves at your door--is undermined by the equally singular Rod and Slick's undoing. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2009 May

K-Gr 2--Mother Robot has three sons. Rod is big and yellow with a clock in his stomach. He makes his mother proud. Slick is a blue creature on a wheel. Dudley is green, rusty, and odd. One day their mother sends them out into the world with enough resources to acquire their own factories, big and strong enough to keep Wolfgang the Recycler at a distance. He wants their parts for enhancing himself. Rod buys a factory and cleans it up. Slick builds a steel castle. Dudley orders 12 truckloads of mud and happily nestles down into the oozing pile. Wolfgang tricks Rod into opening the door and dismantles him on the spot. He uses Slick's vain streak to gain entrance to his castle and breaks him down for parts. Dudley invites him in, and Wolfgang becomes trapped. After he sinks, his parts start floating to the top. Dudley rebuilds his brothers from the parts and makes a car from Wolfgang's remains. The reunited family goes for drive at the end, but it's clear from the picture that not everyone is assembled as they were before. Illustrations are done in mixed media, mostly in a collage style, and have a clunky, metallic look to them. Boys will like this retelling of a children's classic.--Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI

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