Gizmo

Gizmo

by Barry Varela, Ed Briant
     
 

When Professor Glink decides to create a perpetual motion machine replete with a "mingle-mangle" of pendulums, pulleys, cogs and gears, the darn contraption soon takes on a life of its own—with hilarious results. With sensationally complicated illustrations and show-stopping tongue-twisters, Gizmo may well be the looniest picture book of the year.See more details below

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Overview

When Professor Glink decides to create a perpetual motion machine replete with a "mingle-mangle" of pendulums, pulleys, cogs and gears, the darn contraption soon takes on a life of its own—with hilarious results. With sensationally complicated illustrations and show-stopping tongue-twisters, Gizmo may well be the looniest picture book of the year.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Whimsy abounds in this jolly jumble of words and images, guaranteed to grab kids' attention and ignite their imaginations. Featuring ample onomatopoeia, alliteration and jaunty rhyme, Varela's (Palmers Gate) narrative introduces Professor Ludwig von Glink, who sets out to invent a perpetual motion machine. Though his elaborate "Gizmo" doesn't move for long, before it runs out of steam it produces "sounds of clanging and banging, and pinging and ringing, that were not entirely unpleasant, as well as tingly, tangly twitterings reminiscent of the call of the ring-necked pheasant." Undaunted, the cheerful prof decides to "work up some specs and see if I can make this mingle-mangle of intricate jury-rigged gimcrackery yet more complex. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that'd add to the merriment." Adding a great deal to the merriment, Briant's (Seven Stories) bustling, comical art reveals the inventor, his wife and five children using a variety of gears, springs, toys, musical instruments and whatnot to create an ever-expanding contraption that eventually takes over the house, attracting a gaggle of ogling tourists. Alas, the city building inspector determines that the contraption has no practical purpose; "deeply offended by the pointless contraption, [he] concluded that the whole kaboodle must be on the verge of collapsion." But the director of the contemporary art museum lobbies to save the structure (which is, after all, "a case of art for art's sake") from demolition and it becomes an annex to the museum, making everyone-including young readers-quite content. Ages 4-8. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3 - Professor Ludwig von Glick's attempt at creating a perpetual-motion contraption gets out of hand. The machine takes over his house, inside and out, until the City Buildings and Permits Inspector condemns the place. Just as the wrecking ball is about to swing, the Director of the City Contemporary Art Museum arrives and saves the creation: "It was a case of art for art's sake." The author is equally professorial as he long-windedly builds a "gizmo" of words. Adjectives and adverbs dangle from nouns and verbs, hook onto prepositional phrases, and connect with conjunctions: " . . . sounds of clanging and banging,/and pinging and ringing,/that were not entirely unpleasant,/as well as tingly, tangly twitterings . . . .And the way in which/the device shimmied swervily,/and teetered topsy-turvily,/in a manner that was somehow/both lifelike and robotic,/was oddly hypnotic." The run-on rhymes perfectly describe the out-of-control invention. The cartoon ink-and-watercolor illustrations are equally playful and intricate. Whimsical spreads give detail-oriented readers busily involved "notches and nodes,/nubbins and niches" to explore. This light and humorous look at gadgetry will be a great introduction to units on inventions and inventors.-Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Engineering becomes art in this sprightly tale of a huge but useless machine saved from the wrecking ball. Written in rhymed free verse, the tale opens with Professor Ludwig von Glink waking one morning with an idea for a perpetual-motion device. He's wrong-but so entrancing is his mechanical gizmo that he decides "to work up some specs / and see if I can make this / mingle-mangle of intricate / jury-rigged gimcrackery / yet more complex." Cheered on by his wife (dressed, as he is, in a lab coat) and five children, the Professor proceeds to wreath the entire house in gears and rods, pulleys, slides and pinwheels. Then a hard-nosed Building Inspector shows up. Using quick strokes of pen and brush, Briant creates buoyant, increasingly crowded cartoon scenes featuring a magnificent construct that almost conceals the house around and through which it snakes-and which is saved by the last minute appeal of the City Contemporary Art Museum's strong-minded Director. Like another recent iteration of the theme, Dayle Ann Dodds's Henry's Amazing Machine (2004), illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker, the unusual language adds great read-aloud potential. (Picture book. 6-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596431157
Publisher:
Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:
05/28/2007
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
11.15(w) x 8.87(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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