Oh No!: Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World

Overview

Some kids are too smart for their own good...and maybe for everybody else's good. When an overly ambitious little girl builds a humongous robot for her science fair, she fully expects to win first place. What she doesn't expect is the chaos that follows.

Mac Barnett, a new picture book author on the rise, and Dan Santat, illustrator of Rhea Perlman's Otto Undercover series, combine forces to create a hilarious kid's eye account of the kind of destruction that comes only from a ...

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Overview

Some kids are too smart for their own good...and maybe for everybody else's good. When an overly ambitious little girl builds a humongous robot for her science fair, she fully expects to win first place. What she doesn't expect is the chaos that follows.

Mac Barnett, a new picture book author on the rise, and Dan Santat, illustrator of Rhea Perlman's Otto Undercover series, combine forces to create a hilarious kid's eye account of the kind of destruction that comes only from a child's good intentions. This book is sure to appeal to kids and parents familiar with the ordeal of science fairs.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Santat and Barnett collaborate seamlessly on this slapstick adventure about a pigtailed, bespectacled science fair entrant trying unsuccessfully to control her prize-winning robot. "I probably shouldn't have given it a superclaw, or a laser eye, or the power to control dogs' minds," she sighs as she watches the metallic monster storm across her city. Barnett's (Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem) telegraphic text packs wicked humor into economical, comic book–style lines, while Santat's (Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo) skylines pay homage to old monster movies. In one scene, the robot looms Godzilla-like, railroad car in hand, over an urban Japantown; another sequence is viewed through its fish-eye lens, with crosshairs trained on its creator. When the robot reacts with fury to the girl's futile attempts to stop it ("I should have given it ears," she laments), the girl and text become blurred, testimony to the impact of its stomps. Blueprints for the robot and the genetically altered toad she deploys to defeat it are included on the endpapers, but, kids, don't try this at home! Ages 3–7. (June)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"Please Stand By" we are warned on a television screen before the title page. "Oh, no..." our young narrator moans in a speech balloon as she passes through a double-page scene of a destroyed city block. "I should never have built a robot for the Science Fair." She regrets giving it a super-claw, a laser eye, and the power over dogs' minds. When she tries to get the rampaging robot under control, nothing seems to stop it. In desperation she hurriedly manipulates DNA to grow a super-toad programmed to destroy the robot. Their battle seems to end well, until.... This book suffers from near visual overload. The jacket shows our clever heroine, eyes wide behind glasses with one lens showing the robot and the other the toad. This reverses to a poster advertising the book. The cover simulates her school "computation book." The front end pages are technically detailed blueprints of the robot; those in back show the production of the toad. Photoshop-generated illustrations with minimal text give us a slick, futuristic world with our almost cartoon-y scientist furiously trying to fix her mistakes. It is fun to watch a strong female character at work. The purpose of including Japanese translations is unclear. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 3—This graphic novel in picture-book form will appeal to the "Captain Underpants" set. A young girl builds a robot for the science fair, but things get crazy when it goes on a rampage through the city. That's when she realizes that she forgot to give it any skills that would allow it to understand her commands to stop. She creates a giant toad monster to fight the robot—but the toad has its own problems. Santat's Photoshop illustrations propel the story far more than the text, and the dialogue balloons, dramatic perspectives, and graphic style bring a true comic-book sensibility to this funny story that's loaded with child appeal.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
Kirkus Reviews
Santat's brilliantly hued digital illustrations are the perfect foil for Barnett's almost-wordless tale of a science project gone awry. When the bespectacled heroine surveys the post-apocalyptic opening scene, the speech bubbles tell the tale-"Oh no . . . oh man . . . I knew it." Like a 1950s B-movie, complete with the widescreen boundaries, the drama of her prize-winning robot stalking New York is one part cautionary tale and many parts over-the-top humor. When she screams, "HEY, ROBOT! KNOCK IT OFF ALREADY!" the page turn shows her shaky, understated realization, "I should have given it ears." In a world where technology progresses rapidly and consequences are often not anticipated, this lesson in "I should have" is subtle, never preachy and always action-packed. Comic-book, picture-book and movie styles come together in a well-designed package that includes a movie poster on the reverse side of the jacket, an old-time computation book as the inside cover and detailed scientific drawings on the endpapers. The Japanese subtitles and translations on the pages before the title add to the fun. The only thing missing are the 3-D glasses! A must-have. (Picture book. 4-10)
Kristi Jemtegaard
Filled with sly visual jokes and oddball details, this hilarious sendup of an often painful rite of passage for parents and kids alike is falling-down funny.
—The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423123125
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 216,466
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.86 (w) x 10.34 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Mac Barnett
Mac Barnett (www.macbarnett.com) is a writer living in Oakland, CA. He's also the Executive Director of 826LA, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center, and founder of the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, a convenience store for time travelers (seriously).

Dan Santat (www.dantat.com) is the author and illustrator of Guild of Geniuses and the illustrator of many books, including The Secret Life of Walter Kitty by Barbara Jean Hicks. He has an animated series for Disney called The Replacements. He lives in Southern California.

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