Synopses & Reviews
Vincent Shadow isn't particularly good at sports and is constantly being picked on by his classmates at Central Middle School. But it is Vincent's unusually creative mind that truly separates him from other kids his age.
Vincent's top secret attic lab is crammed with toy prototypes --from Liquid Superballs to Bullz-I Basketballs and Sonic Snorkelz--and he has a sketch book filled with drawings of toys he still wants to build. So when a chance encounter with an eccentric toy inventor offers him the opportunity to go from unknown weird kid to toy inventor extraordinaire, Vincent realizes that playtime is over: it's time to get serious about toys.
* Vincent Shadow: Toy Inventor was previously titled The Unusual Mind of Vincent Shadow.
"Kehoe's debut is a quick-reading, whimsical tale of a boy inventor, but reliance on the trope of the evil stepfamily undercuts much of the fun. Vincent used to have frequent blinding flashes of inspiration and invented all sorts of wonderful toys in the secret laboratory his late mother built with him. But when his mostly absentee father moves the family to Minnesota, he loses access to most of his inventions (and stops having visions). Forced to sleep in a cold basement laundry room by his stepmother, Vincent's only ray of hope is his eccentric new art teacher, who gets Vincent the opportunity to enter a contest sponsored by toy designer Howard G. Whiz. Unfortunately, Kehoe's characters never amount to much more than cartoons. Vincent's stereotypically nasty stepmother favors her biological children packing gourmet meals for their lunches, while Vincent gets the dregs and his oblivious father is absentminded to the point of neglect. Though Vincent gets his expected moment of glory in the end, his family's last-minute turnaround feels pat and halfhearted. Ages 8 12." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A Winter 2013-14 Kidsand#39; Indie Next List pick
andquot;Fast paced and funny, with plenty of alliteration and word definitions provided by Noodles, it carries hints of both Lemony Snicketand#39;s wordplay and the absurdity of M. T. Andersonand#39;s Pals in Peril series. . . . Young, precocious readers and older readers looking for a shorter read will enjoy this first title in the Gadgets and Gears series.andquot;and#160;
andquot;[An] auspicious first book. . . . Hamilton makes the comedic most of her premise. . . . Noodlesand#39;s antics and droll, mannered narration make him the indisputable star of this show.andquot;and#160;
andquot;Steampunk with training wheels for the chapter book set. . . . Sly humor . . . nifty, gear-laden illustrations . . . [an] imaginative, engaging premise.andquot;and#160;
Creatively designed and illustrated throughout, this irresistible story shows what talent, persistence, imagination, and a little luck can do. And it shows that when paired with toys, science can be pretty fun. Includes a full-color invention notebook.
The first book in aand#160;fast-paced historical fantasyand#160;series narrated by a daring dachshund and brimming with mad science.
Welcome to the Amazing Automated Inn, home of twelve-year-old inventor Wally Kennewickett, his genius scientist parents, and hisand#160;dashing dog, Noodles. From the lightning harvester on the roof to the labs full of experiments in the dungeon, the inn is a wonderful place for a curious boy and his loyal dog to live. That is, until President Theodore Roosevelt himself calls the elder Kennewicketts away, leaving Wally and Noodles to face the evil Mesmers, horrible hypnotists bent on controlling the minds of powerful people. It seems the inn is their first stop on the way to world domination . . . and only an ingenious boy, a staff of automatons,and#160;and a brave dachshund stand in their way!
About the Author
Tim Kehoe is the inventor of numerous toy products, including the world's first colored bubbles, called Zubbles, and he was recently named one of America
's 100 Best by Reader's Digest
. In 2005, Zubbles was awarded Popular Science's
Grand Prize for Innovation. This is Mr. Kehoe's debut children's book. He lives with his wife and five children in Minnesota
. Visit him online at www.timkehoe.com.
Mike Wohnoutka received his B.F.A. in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Since graduating he has illustrated a number of picture books for young readers. He lives with his wife and daughter in Minnesota. Visit him online at www.mike.wonoutka.com.