Extremely Cute Animals Operating Heavy Machinery
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Extremely Cute Animals Operating Heavy Machinery

by David Gordon
     
 

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Just because you’re extremely cute, doesn’t mean you can’t operate a bulldozer! From author-illustrator David Gordon comes a fun, funny, and whimsical take on believing in yourself and telling bullies who’s boss!

Karen and the other extremely cute animals just want to build sand castles. But the terribly mean bullies Skyler, Mike, and Trent

Overview

Just because you’re extremely cute, doesn’t mean you can’t operate a bulldozer! From author-illustrator David Gordon comes a fun, funny, and whimsical take on believing in yourself and telling bullies who’s boss!

Karen and the other extremely cute animals just want to build sand castles. But the terribly mean bullies Skyler, Mike, and Trent keep knocking them down! So Karen and her friends get another idea. They’ll build something the bullies can’t knock down, something even bigger and better than a sand castle...

It’s a good thing being excessively cute doesn’t prevent you from operating heavy machinery!

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Maria Russo
Gordon, the author of truck-centric picture books including The Three Little Rigs and The Ugly Truckling, forges a new path in this clever mash-up of vehicle operation and other childhood wish-fulfillment scenarios.
Publishers Weekly
02/15/2016
The antibullying story—with its familiar arc of persecution, retribution, and rapprochement—goes high concept. Readers will have to wait until the middle of the book for the title’s payoff: that’s when the extremely cute animals, led by a tutu-wearing bunny named Karen, get “extremely mad” about being the victims of three sandbox bullies and construct “the grandest sand castle plus amusement park anyone had ever seen,” enclosed by a big gate to keep the bullies out. The irony reaches its apex in a wordless close-up of Karen confidently fusing two beams together, a welding mask accessorizing her trademark tutu. Gordon (Smitten) delivers a tale that, while familiar at its core, should make for a rousing read-aloud: expect giggles when Karen orders her adorable crew to “Move your butts!” And yes, Gordon’s pastel-colored, gummy-bear-esque animals are indeed extremely cute—including the villains, especially once they see how their former victims are “extremely good at including everyone.” It’s cheeky evidence of the power of killing them with kindness—and cuteness. Ages 4–8. (May)
May 14, 2016 - The Wall Street Journal
"Darling little creatures show surprising moxie...and mercy triumphs over vengeance in this amusement"
April 15, 2016 - Booklist
"The combination of cute animals and construction equipment will delight a wide range of readers."
School Library Journal
06/01/2016
PreS-Gr 1—Bullies are no match for the crafty creativity of extremely cute animals. Faced with repeated destruction of their playground sand castles, Karen and company stand up to mean Skyler and his friends with their "snowboards, pogo sticks, and a bad attitude!" The sweet critters prevail, bringing in a bulldozer, a heavy-lift helicopter, and just a few steel beams. Amazingly in a single day, the "grandest sand castle plus amusement park" arises on the spot for all who love to ride and race, with roller coasters, water slides, Ferris wheels, bumper cars and boats, carousels, bungee jumping, and a climbing wall. The newly contrite former bullies are eventually welcomed into the updated play area, perfect for those who love to stomp and smash. Pages of brightly painted images on pastel backgrounds emphasize free-form cartoon animals in their idyllic neighborhood. VERDICT A recommended storytime purchase for all libraries, this child's playground fantasy features a message of inclusiveness and empowerment, showing that even extremely cute creatures can stand up for themselves.—Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX
Kirkus Reviews
2016-03-02
Tutu, torches, and tenacity don't add up to a simple, ordinary story. Readers meet tutu-clad Karen, an "extremely cute animal" building a sand castle, when bully Skyler appears, claiming, "This is MY sandbox and I say: NO STUPID SAND CASTLES!" He proceeds to stomp, smash, and flatten the castle and walks away laughing, leaving Karen in tears. Karen's friends—mostly nameless, also identified as extremely cute, and many sporting clichéd bows and dresses—announce that they'll help Karen build a bigger sand castle. Skyler then brings his friends, Mike and Trent, to destroy the now-improved structure. This happens a third time, to be followed by a red spread showcasing infuriated friends above the message: "Being...extremely cute...doesn't mean…you can't get...EXTREMELY MAD!" At this point, Karen brings on the titular heavy machinery, including a bulldozer, heavy-lift helicopter, forklift, and welding torches. The result? Circus tents, roller coasters, water slides, a Ferris wheel, bumper boats, carousels, and more entertainment. Gordon generously uses bright colors, and characters' emotions are expressive. A favorite wordless spread features Karen, in her tutu, wearing a welding mask and operating a blowtorch atop a beamed structure. Unfortunately, though, far too much of the heavy work is done by Joshua, the only other named "cute animal," while those in feminine garb watch adoringly. While readers may appreciate the messages of overcoming bullying and granting forgiveness, the story is hampered by cringe-inducing stereotypes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416924418
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
05/17/2016
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
14,712
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
AD580L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

David Gordon has done visual development for numerous production companies from Lucasfilm to Pixar, including Toy Story; Monsters, Inc.; A Bug’s Life; Cars; BlueSky’s Robots; and Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants. He’s also written and illustrated several picture books, among them Hansel and Diesel, The Three Little Rigs, The Ugly Truckling, and Smitten. He’s one of the illustrators of Jon Scieszka’s fifty-two-book, New York Times bestselling series, Trucktown. Visit him at IllustratorRanch.com.

David Gordon has done visual development for numerous production companies from Lucasfilm to Pixar, including Toy Story; Monsters, Inc.; A Bug’s Life; Cars; BlueSky’s Robots; and Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants. He’s also written and illustrated several picture books, among them Hansel and Diesel, The Three Little Rigs, The Ugly Truckling, and Smitten. He’s one of the illustrators of Jon Scieszka’s fifty-two-book, New York Times bestselling series, Trucktown. Visit him at IllustratorRanch.com.

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