From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Classic surreal fiction like Alice in Wonderland is difficult to copy because it effortlessly combines the imagination of a child with the mature artistry of an adult writer. This imaginative fantasy strives to achieve the same effect and is, for the most part, a success, thanks in no small part to Lee's magnificent illustrations. It is a tale of a world without time or progress, inhabited only by children who never grow up and robots. Together, a human boy named Ayden and a robot girl named Zoe work to fix the broken world and teach their close-minded peers the importance of change. Their helper in this task is a whimsical, dapper man, a sort of "Cat in the Hat" mercurial hero. It is a fun ensemble though the dialogue occasionally overdoes the exposition. While the theme, as it is presented, is an abstract one for younger readers, it works in an impressionistic way; the lush artwork is easy to get lost in, and the fantastical setting and atmosphere create a unique background for a timeless parable about time. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* This beguiling graphic novel joins the likes of Shaun Tan�s The Arrival (2007) and John Harris Dunning and Nikhil Singh�s Salem Brownstone (2010) as a book that is so immediately distinctive that it promises a unique reading experience�and more than delivers. In the dreamy land of Anorev, children, all under age 11, live underground among intricate gear-work mechanisms, while elegant robots live in abandoned houses aboveground: �Neither children nor machines knew which was work nor what was play, and neither seemed to be any fun or any use.� All are perpetually stuck in the same day, and time has, essentially, ceased to mean anything�until 314 Dapper Men rain from the sky and set in motion the impetus for change. The sometimes slippery-to-grasp story plays around with classic Peter Pan themes, obliquely delivering the message that childhood is not something to hold in limbo; it can only find meaning and value in moving forward, in growing and changing and looking to tomorrow as much as revering today. But where this book truly stands out is how well the story works in concert with Lee�s stunning artwork, which employs an art nouveau sheen. Arresting layouts give the book an ethereal, timeless quality and turn each page into a frameworthy work of art. A true dazzler that speaks on multiple levels for both child and adult readers and one that gets richer with each read. Grades 4-8. --Ian Chipman