Reviews

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

With great horsepower comes great responsibility. So learns Dawson, a boy whose mechanical-mindedness lets Gall make full use of his skill for drafting the sort of straight-from-kids'-dreams machines he showcased in Dinotrux and Revenge of the Dinotrux. With goggles, tool belt, and a massive basement workshop, Dawson is a creative genius in the vein of Dexter (from Dexter's Laboratory, not Dexter). With the support of his sidekick/friend, the equally creepy and hilarious Mooey (a disembodied mechanical cow's head), Dawson creates a giant robot to do his chores for him. As might be expected, the Vacu-Maniac goes out of control, which is what happens when you build robots from whatever is lying around ("The Vacu-Maniac has a brain made of cat food," bleeps Mooey). In the town-threatening battle that follows, Mooey's bodilessness turns out to be an asset. There's a light message about reusing so-called junk to make, well, awesome new inventions (Gall labels every soda can, hockey stick, and grocery cart wheel that goes into Dawson's creations), but the emphasis is on a larger-than-life sense of fun. Ages 3-6. Agent: George Nicholson, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Dawson is a repurposer extraordinaire. He collects all manner of junk and pieces together tools and toys from suburban detritus (roller skates, a bedsheet, and a crate, for instance, combine into a fun way to get to school ). With his trusted companion, Mooey, a talking cow head with interchangeable bodies, he undertakes his biggest project to date: a giant, chore-doing robot called the Vacu-Maniac. True to his name, the robot soon goes out of control, sucking up everything in his path and growing bigger with each accumulation. By implanting Mooey in the robot's head, Dawson is able to save the day. Gall's busy, saturated spreads combine hand-scratched clay board with digital colorization, resulting in vibrant imagery that is both slick and homespun, like Dawson's own creations. Paneled composition and word-balloon dialogue lend a graphic feel, with glossary labels identifying all the bits and pieces of Dawson's creativity. Superheroes, recyclers, and inventors unite!--Barthelmess, Thom Copyright 2010 Booklist