Mr Wuffles by David Wiesner
|Mr Wuffles by David Wiesner|
|Category: Emerging Readers|
|Reviewer: Zoe Morris|
|Summary: A cat finds a toy that's out of this world in this wordless story in comic strip format. Interesting and unique.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 40||Date: November 2013|
Mr Wuffles (a name I cannot help but imagine being said in a Chinese American accent) is a feline. Not a kitty. Definitely not a pussy. Barely even a cat, he’s so fierce. Look at him glaring out at you from the cover. He looks like trouble, not so much in a cheeky, mischievous way but in a dirty, rotten scoundrel one. Mr Wuffles’ owner clearly does not know her pet very well. She offers him a typical, pet store toy but he simply turns up his nose at it and stalks off.
What happens next is rather unusual. He comes across a small object, apparently discarded on the floor. It’s silver and looks a bit like a planet with rings around it. Noises are coming from within. Mr Wuffles quickly learns this miniature object is home to alien beings. It’s their space ship, and they’ve clearly taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way to end up here, but they have ended up here and with a giant, scary, furry beast looming over them there’s only one thing to do: flee the ship in search of safety elsewhere.
Told entirely in cartoon strip format, with virtually no words, just a few alien sounds, this is an interesting book with a hard to pin down audience. The lack of words makes it accessible to teeny tinys, but the theme of aliens, and the sort of illustrations lend themselves more to an older readership. The story is clear enough from the pictures but a vague understanding of little green men coming from outer space is still needed.
I rarely go for gender stereotyping, but I think this one would be good for boys. And I say that from a family that contains a female astrophysicist and weans its children on Star Trek and Blake’s 7. I think it would be especially good for junior school boys who are reluctant readers as if you need it to, it can help develop communicative skills without any tricky words to put them off. The format looks more like a toddler’s picture book, but the content is definitely a bit more mature so if they can get past the size and shape of it, they’re bound to enjoy the inside. Don’t judge a book by its cover, and all that.
This book was definitely a surprise to me, but although I didn’t quite know what to think of it at first, I rather liked it by the end. It’s clearly unique in both its story and its format, and the two aspects work well together. I wasn’t sure I’d end up recommending it, but I do.
Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.
Art and Max by David Wiesner adopts the same kind of approach, so check it out.
You can read more book reviews or buy Mr Wuffles by David Wiesner at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Mr Wuffles by David Wiesner at Amazon.com.
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