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Mr. Wuffles! (Caldecott Medal - Honors Winning Title(s)) Hardcover – October 1, 2013
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 4–Mr. Wuffles ignores all his fancy cat toys. Still sporting price tags, they line the hallway as he strolls by. But resting quietly among the feathers, balls, and mice is a tiny metal spaceship, and this catches his attention. His playful batting knocks around the alien explorers inside, causing bumps but no injuries. The ship's flying disks do not survive, however, and the aliens set out to explore the house and repair their craft. Barely escaping Mr. Wuffles's claws, they dash behind the radiator and discover primitive art of the cat's previous battles and make friends with the house's insects. The bugs help the aliens repair the spaceship, avoid capture, and fly away. Nearly wordless, the story is told through pictures and the languages of the ants and aliens, depicted by dashes and symbols. The book is fairly complex, best suited for elementary students, who will enjoy decoding the aliens' cryptographic alphabet. Wiesner humorously captures the curiosity and confusion of Mr. Wuffles and his human, who remains oblivious to the drama underfoot. The idea of a separate, tiny world next to ours makes a great premise, and Wiesner's engaging art and lively pacing carry the day. Visual storytelling at its best.–Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, ORα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* Once again Wiesner dips into his irrepressible imagination to deliver a mostly wordless conceptual picture book where the mundane and the magical collide. Mr. Wuffles, an aloof, perspicacious black cat, takes no interest in his playthings, save one peculiar toy that looks something like a hobnail tea strainer. Closer inspection, like only Wiesner can provide, reveals that it is a miniature alien spacecraft experiencing mechanical trouble. Its little green passengers evade Mr. Wuffles and retreat to a hole beneath the radiator, where they discover a series of “cave paintings” immortalizing battles between the cat and troops of ants and ladybugs. The aliens and the bugs join forces and, speaking in rectangular pictographic word balloons (that some readers will thrill to decipher), hatch a plan to repair the spaceship, foil the feline, and return home. The drama plays out across long, low panels full of kinetic energy and comic detail, all captured in the artist’s careful watercolor renderings. In the end, the mission is successful and the aliens escape, but not without leaving behind a few reminders of their visit and an updated record of the epic conflict on the inner wall. Wiesner’s many fans will delight at poring over the detailed account of this master plan, again and again, discovering something new with each successive reading. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Wiesner is a three-time Caldecott winner. Three. Fans will be ready to pounce. Grades K-3. --Thom Barthelmess
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is pretty amusing and features a small group of tiny aliens that land in a ship that Mr. Wuffles thinks is a cat toy. After narrowly escaping Mr. Wuffles they are able to enlist the aid of some bugs to distract the cat while they escape. The story is very basic and features the aliens speaking in their own language so it is easy to follow for kids of all ages.
If you like cats or just enjoy well illustrated books then this is one to add to your collection for sure!
The artwork is fun and the book has very little dialogue, which was odd at first but became a big plus for me because it made the book different in that you had to pay attention to the pictures and interpret what was happening so it felt a bit more interactive. I imagine with a child this would be amusing to get their take on what's happening and discuss the imagery.