In Metal Mutz! A Barking Pop-Up Book! by Christine Tagg, with robots and photographs by David Ellwand (of Fairieality fame), a lonely space robot decides to build a canine companion out of scrap metal. He makes numerous mutts, and youngsters will get a kick out of the metallic version of telltale characteristics from a bulldog's spiky teeth to the stream-lined greyhound-but none is just right until the dog creations get together to construct the perfect mate. A barking sound chip concludes the paper-over-board volume. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
This is a unique and fascinating book. It calls itself a barking pop-up book, but there is only one pop-up, which indeed, does bark. It is the story told in amusing verse of a robot called Tinribs traveling from outer space in a trash can vehicle that lands in a discarded pile of metal rubbish. Looking around and finding no companions, the robot decides to build himself a companion robot dog from the materials in which he is surrounded. He assembles many candidates, but they are all either too short or long or something else, so he gives up. The discarded robotic dogs, however, decide to build another dog for him. It is the perfect one, and Tinribs and his new pet, who is barking, appear together on the last page! What makes this book unique and rather wonderful are the illustrations, which appear to be photographs of the actual metal pieces used to build the constructions. Trying to identify the parts is a challenge. 2003, Candlewick Press, Ages 6 up.
— Eleanor Heldrich
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Having used flower petals and other natural materials to clothe the diminutive debs in Fairie-Ality: The Fashion Collection (Candlewick, 2002), Ellwand now turns to kitchen utensils, used circuit boards, and scrap metal to create a series of big, junkyard photo collages. In this tale, a robot alien tries to assemble a suitable canine companion from found items. Emerging from his garbage-can spacecraft, lonely Tinribs puts together a shiny poodle ("much too haughty"), then a bulldog ("very naughty"). Likewise, the "hot-dog dog" is "too long and low," the spaniel, "too staid and slow." After other attempts, notably an Afghan hound hung about with masses of loose wiring, Tinribs gives up. But his new creations put their doggy heads together, and shortly thereafter present him with a pup that looks just like him-revealed in a final pop-up spread that features a woofing sound chip. The plot is just a pretext for the art, but children, especially fans of Joan Steiner's Look-Alikes (Little, Brown, 1998) and its sequels, will marvel at the ingenious way Ellwand recycles recognizable metalware.-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.