Watch Out for Wolfgang!

Overview

In a riff on the classic cautionary tale "The Three Little Pigs," Paul Carrick retells and imaginatively illustrates this story of three robot brothers. When Mother Robot finishes programming them, it’s time to send them out into the world. But she warns them to be careful of Wolfgang the Recycler. If he catches them, he’ll use their parts for his own ill-gotten gains.

Rod is a mama’s robot and desperate for nurturing. Slick is vain and easily won over with a compliment. And ...

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Overview

In a riff on the classic cautionary tale "The Three Little Pigs," Paul Carrick retells and imaginatively illustrates this story of three robot brothers. When Mother Robot finishes programming them, it’s time to send them out into the world. But she warns them to be careful of Wolfgang the Recycler. If he catches them, he’ll use their parts for his own ill-gotten gains.

Rod is a mama’s robot and desperate for nurturing. Slick is vain and easily won over with a compliment. And Dudley is . . . well, a dud who likes mud. Can they protect themselves from the greedy Wolfgang?

The illustrations in WATCH OUT FOR WOLFGANG are made of shaped plastic, wires, bits of screen, and other recycled materials.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"Once upon a time," in a tale reminiscent of the classic three pigs, an old mother robot tells her three son "bots" that it is time for them to go out and build their own factories. But she warns them that they must keep away Wolfgang the Recycler, who will take them apart and recycle them. Rod the first son is neat, tidy, and hard working. Slick, the second, is charming. No one can understand Dudley, who does things in his own way. Rod builds his factory to be clean and safe, he thinks, from Wolfgang. Slick earns a fortune and builds a huge, reinforced castle. Dudley, who has always just wanted to live in a pile of mud, orders truckloads of it and splashes away happily with his "Buzz Bip!" comments. Wolfgang manages to dispose of both Rod and Slick. But with his "Bip" and Buzz" Dudley successfully puts everything back to normal… Well, almost. Wolfgang is a menacing red and black mechanical monster with gaping mouth and sharp, pointed teeth. The trio of young robots is imaginatively created as three-dimensional, friendly-looking machines. Carrick uses intensely colored mixed media to good effect as he fills the double-page scenes with action. Humor overrides horror, particularly in the mud scenes. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2

Mother Robot has three sons. Rod is big and yellow with a clock in his stomach. He makes his mother proud. Slick is a blue creature on a wheel. Dudley is green, rusty, and odd. One day their mother sends them out into the world with enough resources to acquire their own factories, big and strong enough to keep Wolfgang the Recycler at a distance. He wants their parts for enhancing himself. Rod buys a factory and cleans it up. Slick builds a steel castle. Dudley orders 12 truckloads of mud and happily nestles down into the oozing pile. Wolfgang tricks Rod into opening the door and dismantles him on the spot. He uses Slick's vain streak to gain entrance to his castle and breaks him down for parts. Dudley invites him in, and Wolfgang becomes trapped. After he sinks, his parts start floating to the top. Dudley rebuilds his brothers from the parts and makes a car from Wolfgang's remains. The reunited family goes for drive at the end, but it's clear from the picture that not everyone is assembled as they were before. Illustrations are done in mixed media, mostly in a collage style, and have a clunky, metallic look to them. Boys will like this retelling of a children's classic.-Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI

Kirkus Reviews
Who's afraid of the big bad recycler? In Carrick's riff-his authorial debut-on "The Three Little Pigs," a mother robot sends her sons out to build their own factories, warning, "But you must build them big and strong to keep out Wolfgang the Recycler." Though Mother worries he will disassemble her boys and make them into kitchen appliances, when Wolfgang outwits anxious Rod and vain Slick, he attaches their parts to himself. Ultimately, the third brother, odd, mud-loving Dudley, triumphs. The author/illustrator is a recycler himself, using found materials in bold, full-bleed, mixed-media illustrations to capture each robotic character's metallic uniqueness. However, the pacing of words and pictures sometimes falters, leaving readers unsure of which part of the text is depicted. Further, while the traditional porcine tale's moral lauds the value of hard work and logic, the message implied by Dudley's victory-be yourself and you will defeat the wolves at your door-is undermined by the equally singular Rod and Slick's undoing. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570916892
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Edition description: New
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD610L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.70 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Carrick has been around the children's book circuit all his life, as the son of author Carol and illustrator Donald Carrick. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, he has illustrated several children's books, including THE POLAR BEARS ARE HUNGRY (Clarion) and MOTHERS ARE LIKE THAT (Clarion). He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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