From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 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
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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) --Publisher's Weekly*star review*
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) --Kirkus