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Mr. Wuffles!by David Wiesner
The spacemen and the ant colony are headed for despair, adventure, and — ultimately — triumph, all because of a cat who's finally found a toy he wants to play with. Imaginative, sweet, funny: Mr. Wuffles! is my favorite David Wiesner book in a long time.
Synopses & Reviews
In a near wordless masterpiece that could only have been devised by David Wiesner, a cat named Mr. Wuffles doesn't care about toy mice or toy goldfish. He's much more interested in playing with a little spaceship full of actual aliens — but the ship wasn't designed for this kind of rough treatment. Between motion sickness and damaged equipment, the aliens are in deep trouble.
When the space visitors dodge the cat and take shelter behind the radiator to repair the damage, they make a host of insect friends. The result? A humorous exploration of cooperation between aliens and insects, and of the universal nature of communication involving symbols, “cave” paintings, and gestures of friendship.
"Mr. Wuffles, a handsome black cat with white paws and an arrogant air, couldn't care less about the many toys purchased for his amusement. But he homes in on a metal object (imagine two doll-size colanders soldered shut), imperiling the tiny green aliens inside. Mr. Wuffles bats their spaceship about playfully, damaging it, and in a daring move, the aliens break for safety under the radiator. Wiesner constructs his story in a mix of full spreads and comics-style panels. Though the artwork, done in watercolor and India ink, is superbly colored and composed, the most inventive aspect of the story may be the hieroglyphic language the three-time Caldecott Medalist has invented for his aliens: this is a nearly wordless book full of dialogue no one (excepting maybe Wiesner) will know how to speak aloud. The aliens succeed in befriending the insects that live within the walls of the house, and together they concoct a plan to outwit Mr. Wuffles — yes, humans aren't even a factor in this story of extraterrestrial first contact. Wiesner once again produces a fantasy adventure that isn't like anything else around. Ages 48. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Expertly imagined, composed, drawn and colored, this is Wiesner at his best." Kirkus, starred review
"This exemplary Wiesnerian blend of ordinary and extraordinary incorporates the delights of Borrowers-style innovations, quintessential cat behavior, and Wiesner's own exquisitely fashioned art." The Horn Book Magazine, starred review
"Once again Wiesner dips into his impressible imagination to deliver a mostly wordless conceptual picture book where the mundane and the magical collide....Wiesner is a three-time Caldecott winner. Three. Fans will be ready to pounce." Booklist, starred review
"Visual storytelling at its best." School Library Journal, starred review
"The award-winning Wiesner (his trophy collection would make Meryl Streep blush) is a master of the form, a magical realist who makes the commonplace seem suddenly more interesting." The Atlantic Wire
"Fans of Tuesday will recognize Wiesner's easy shift from the mundane to the fantastical here as well as his deft and plausible creation of a skewed reality....On a more dramatic note, there's a Spielberg/Lucas level of glory to the bold ant-back and ladybug-flying escape scenes (you can practically hear the John Williams score)." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Another comic tour de force from three-time Caldecott medalist David Wiesner. Mr. Wuffles ignores all his cat toys but one, which turns out to be a spaceship piloted by small green aliens. When Mr. Wuffles plays rough with the little ship, the aliens must venture into the cat's territory to make emergency repairs.
About the Author
David Wiesner's interest in visual storytelling dates back to high school days when he made silent movies and drew wordless comic books. Born and raised in Bridgewater, New Jersey, he graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration. While a student, he created a painting nine feet long, which he now recognizes as the genesis of Free Fall, his first book of his own authorship, for which he was awarded a Caldecott Honor Medal in 1989. David won his first Caldecott Medal in 1992 for Tuesday, and he has gone on to win twice more: in 2002 for The Three Pigs and in 2007 for Flotsam. He is only the second person in the awards history to win the Caldecott Medal three times. David and his wife, Kim Kahng, and their two children live near Philadelphia, where he devotes full time to illustration and she pursues her career as a surgeon.
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