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It's easy to see how Pilkey's high-action, easy-reading chapter novel with a comic book feel would appeal to younger readers. The black-and-white stylish pictures by Ontiveros are way cool and the text is insouciant and funny. This is the third book that pairs the tiny bespectacled mouse, Ricky, with his super-strong giant robot buddy, a sharp-jawed fellow who looks like an out-of-shape wrestler with rodent ears. Because Ricky is being punished for acting irresponsibly---he and his robot have come home late for dinner again--they are the only ones on the Planet Earth who miss the television show Rocky Rodent. And it's a good thing too, because that very night a group of Voodoo Vultures from the Planet Venus, tired of eating the melted mess that passes for food on their super hot planet, beam down rays through television, hypnotizing Earth's entire population, except for Ricky, into obeying their wishes. When they arrive on Earth, the ravenous vultures order the hypnotized mice to bring them good Earth cooking, in a funny throwaway touch demanding "more chocolate chip cookies" but "no more rice cakes," until Ricky is able to figure out how to save the day. Parents will be happy to knnow this tale does have a moral, "responsibility . . . is doing the right thing at the right time," though giggling fans may miss it. Also containing a rather lame flip-o-rama and instructions on how to draw the characters, this book is silly good fun.
--Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2000
Have no fear, citizens of earth! Ricky Ricotta and his giant robot are sure to keep us all safe. The hilarity of this newest Dav Pilkey book (he wrote The Adventures of Captain Underpants) will capture fans for the many books to come. The voodoo vultures are out to hypnotize the world and eat all of our goodies because the weather on Venus is too hot and always melts the best food (ice cream, candy bars) before anyone can eat it. Because Ricky and his robot were not watching TV when the vultures used their "evil voodoo beam," they are the only ones who can save Earth. After Ricky devises a plan to get near the vultures, the giant robot beats the bad guys up and they turn tail and run. Their leader is taken to jail and everyone is saved. The best part of this book is the "flip-o-rama" self-animating chapter in which readers can flip pages back and forth to animate the action. Pilkey also gives step-by-step lessons for drawing the main characters. The animation is big and bold, so the text is kept to a minimum on each page- Newer readers and reluctant readers will like the break given by the illustrations and short chapters. The price may seem a little high for some libraries, but the fun features make this book worth the price.
---Library Talk, March/April 2001, starred review