Synopses & Reviews
Whats it like growing up in a town founded by inventors? On Saturdays, the adults open the doors of the Invent-o-Drome and give local children free rein to create whatever gadgets they can think up. Hypno-Goggles, a Rocket Chair, a homeworkeating robo-dog - the can-do kids of Marveltown are never at a loss for ideas. But when an unfortunate short circuit causes a group of giant robot workers to go berserk - and the adults flee for their lives - are the kids ready to put their know-how to the test? In his first book for children, veteran illustrator Bruce McCall has crafted a tale of ingenuity and mayhem with pictures that pop with retro charm and crackerjack wit.
"New Yorker contributor McCall makes his picture book debut with a tongue-in-cheek vision of the future. Marveltown is a utopian city of inventors, where drivers zip through tubular car washes at 80 mph and children 'sky-ski' behind prop planes. 'We kids learned that faster was always better,' says the narrator. 'And bigger was better, too.' The nifty illustrations, with their superprecise brush strokes and streamlined shapes, suggest a mid 20th-century architect's rendering of millennial space needles, cantilevers and suspension bridges. In the long-distance views, people appear an inch tall and the sci-fi landscape takes precedence. About half the book is devoted to marvelous or mischievous inventions (sample: 'Eli's bedroom hologram was diabolical: Dad saw spick-and-span perfection, when the reality was a place you wouldn't want to live in'), which McCall paints in a meticulous, deadpan style reminiscent of William Joyce's Dinosaur Bob. Then he concocts a rickety plot where the adults' robots go haywire, B-movie style, and the children defeat the robots with their own devices. If short on story, this is long on innovation a good choice for readers with a healthy visual imagination. Ages 5 8." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“A really great picture book.” —Tina Fey
“Marveltown . . . is the place to be.” —The New York Times Book Review
“If you want kids to be smart and funny . . . run right out now and get yourself a copy of this book.” —The Late Show with David Letterman
“Marveltown made me laugh out loud. Newfangled and old-fashioned all at the same time, its full of the best joys of childhood and adulthood.” —Steve Martin
“Marveltown is another great ride through what has to be the most funnest visual imagination in any town! I love everything McCall does.” —Jerry Seinfeld
“This brilliant satire is only heightened by McCalls retro-style paintings depicting the future as it was envisioned back in the 1950s.” —Cookie magazine“McCalls illustrations are wonderfully period, creating that 1950s view of the future world in the 2000s.” —Sacramento Book Review
“This is long on innovation—a good choice for readers with a healthy visual imagination.”
“Marveltown is filled with machines so cool they would make Willy Wonka tingle.”
“The boldly colored, nostalgic-looking illustrations depict the action with detail, vitality, and humor and will easily grab readers attention. The creative fun of a world filled with cool inventions shines through and will get kids thinking of their own innovations.” —School Library Journal
“Give this to all the little inventors and tinkerers, and let their own imaginations run amok.” —Booklist
In his first book for children, veteran illustrator Bruce McCall has crafted a tale of ingenuity and mayhem about a town founded by inventors, with pictures that pop with retro charm and crackerjack wit. Full color.
About the Author
BRUCE MCCALL is best known for his work as a writer and illustrator for The New Yorker
, Car and Driver
, and National Lampoon
. He lives in New York City.