Coppernickel, The Invention

Overview

"A timeless tale of imagination and friendship that children will be drawn to and enjoy again and again."—School Library Journal

"Pure magic! This is one of those books that I want to buy for every child I know! It is all here: imagination, humor, just a bit of danger, quirky illustrations, and a story line that gives children credit for being bright enough to understand multiple levels of graphic representation."—Leah van Belle, Of Cabbages ...

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Overview

"A timeless tale of imagination and friendship that children will be drawn to and enjoy again and again."—School Library Journal

"Pure magic! This is one of those books that I want to buy for every child I know! It is all here: imagination, humor, just a bit of danger, quirky illustrations, and a story line that gives children credit for being bright enough to understand multiple levels of graphic representation."—Leah van Belle, Of Cabbages and Kings

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The illustrations are humorous and dare I say, inventive? The ever-growing invention of Coppernickel is very detailed, contrasting nicely with the rough style that the characters and setting are drawn in. The text is equally successful, using short sentences that allow the illustrations themselves to tell most of the story. A great book about imagination and inventions." - Kids Lit

“The eclectic mix of visual simplicity and detail combined with straightforward text result in a timeless tale of imagination and friendship that children will be drawn to and enjoy again and again.” – School Library Journal

“Coppernickel ... Pure Magic! This is one of those books that I want to buy for every child I know! It is all here: imagination, humor, just a bit of danger, quirky illustrations, and a story line that gives children credit for being bright enough to understand multiple levels of graphic representation.” – Leah van Belle, Of Cabbages & Kings

“This is a very delightful picture book, especially for the creative mind that is detail oriented.” – Jan the Book Lady

"A simple and charming tale about not losing the crux of a bright idea amid excessive details, and a secondary message about how much fun it is to experience the outdoors." - Midwest Book Review

Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
Coppernickel the bird and Tungsten the dog figure in this fable in which inventiveness combines with the affable give-and-take of friendship. Tungsten wants to go outside and run around, but Coppernickel is "too busy reading about all of the inventions that have ever been made. It's really interesting. Take a look." This picture book is interesting too. The bird's runaway imagination pursues a Rube Goldberg-like creation intended for picking high-hanging elderberries. Predictably a bored Tungsten's action pushes this momentum against its creator, setting off another high-energy chain reaction. Just in time, Coppernickel escapes. His next move at once turns the story toward its resolution and serves as a commentary about art, artists, design, rethinking and revision, and even the nature of story. What readers think is a line drawing becomes something full of infinite possibility, detachable and malleable. Shift the eye to the facing page, and one friend's invention needs the interpretation of the other, in order to bring the narrative full circle to the opening. The encyclopedia seems to be written in some kind of bird hieroglyphics, a running visual joke. The plainspoken text stays close to the characters' sensibility. Based upon a Dutch animated cartoon series, this book explores its own form with a touch as light as that of the ultimate product created by the two friends. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2- Sometimes keeping things simple is the best practice. That is the moral of this story about two best friends, Coppernickel the bird and Tungsten the dog, who set out to invent a machine for picking hard-to-reach elderberries. The clever cartoon characters are outlined in bold strokes, filled in with flat colors, and have elongated dot eyes. They are quite expressive despite their minimalist rendering. The slightest change in line-the shape of his mouth, for instance-has Tungsten shifting from reflective to horrified to angry. As both he and Coppernickel sketch out their inventions on sheets of paper, the bird's illustrations rapidly spill over to the walls and the floor, while the dog's sheet remains relatively blank. Although essentially a line drawing, Coppernickel's diagram is quite complicated in the number of gears it has; and when he becomes physically caught in his own invention, van Reek shifts to depicting the sequence of events in a series of miniature square panels. The eclectic mix of visual simplicity and detail combined with straightforward text results in a timeless tale of imagination and friendship that children will be drawn to and enjoy again and again.-Kim T. Ha, Elkridge Branch Library, MD

Kirkus Reviews
Jumbled visuals fell a promising plot. Billed as a bird in the blurb but looking more like a ferret in a red hoodie in the art, impetuous Coppernickel decides to invent an elderberry-picker/crusher. Pinning up a blank piece of paper, he sketches out an impenetrably complex, wildly Rube Goldbergian machine that not only fills up the entire wall but then comes to life and snatches him up. Fortunately, his calmer canine companion Tungsten pulls the emergency brake-whereupon the two go out to pick elderberries with a long forked stick. Children who aren't already bewildered by the mechanical tangle will be thrown by van Reek's abrupt shifts in narrative style, as simply drawn cartoon scenes give way without transition to spreads with dozens of tiny panels then revert. The episode has also been produced as a short film with its original Dutch title Keepvogel. Perhaps it hangs together better in that medium. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592701001
  • Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.19 (w) x 8.14 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author


van Reek went to art school, which was way too easy, so he changed to mathematics, but that was too hard, so he changed back to art. After art school, he created an animated cartoon series for TV, introducing Keepvogel (Coppernickel in English) and Tungsten. So far, Wouter has created about six books based on these characters. van Reek went to art school, which was way too easy, so he changed to mathematics, but that was too hard, so he changed back to art. After art school, he created an animated cartoon series for TV, introducing Keepvogel (Coppernickel in English) and Tungsten. So far, Wouter has created about six books based on these characters.
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