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Author: Gall, Chris
All his life, Dawson has been inventing things, repairing toys in unusual ways, and helping clean up his neighborhood by reusing discarded objects, but when his Vacu-Maniac malfunctions it is his friend Mooey whose brainpower saves the day.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.30
Points: .5 Quiz: 158238
Kirkus Reviews (02/15/13)
School Library Journal (10/01/13)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 04/15/2013 Dawson is a repurposer extraordinaire. He collects all manner of junk and pieces together tools and toys from suburban detritus (roller skates, a bedsheet, and a crate, for instance, combine into “a fun way to get to school”). With his trusted companion, Mooey, a talking cow head with interchangeable bodies, he undertakes his biggest project to date: a giant, chore-doing robot called the Vacu-Maniac. True to his name, the robot soon goes out of control, sucking up everything in his path and growing bigger with each accumulation. By implanting Mooey in the robot’s head, Dawson is able to save the day. Gall’s busy, saturated spreads combine hand-scratched clay board with digital colorization, resulting in vibrant imagery that is both slick and homespun, like Dawson’s own creations. Paneled composition and word-balloon dialogue lend a graphic feel, with glossary labels identifying all the bits and pieces of Dawson’s creativity. Superheroes, recyclers, and inventors unite! - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2013 PreS-Gr 2—Readers first see Awesome Dawson in his bedroom, which is tricked out with a variety of homemade furniture and toys, captioned with word balloons indicating the materials used for each item. Declaring that "EVERYTHING can be used again," the young inventor descends into his underground workshop to do his thing, but is interrupted by his mom reminding him of his chores. He decides to invent a robot that will do them for him. He connects a rake, broom, watering can, pool hose, and gum-ball machine to an old vacuum cleaner to create the Vacu-Maniac. Unfortunately, he used cat food for the creature's brain, and it now has an insatiable appetite. It sucks up everything in sight, growing bigger until it explodes through the ceiling and starts to attack the town. He goes after it with his rubber-band-powered airplane and with the help of his friend, a talking cow toy, manages to defeat the monster. Like all good superheroes, Awesome Dawson pledges to use his recycling talents only for the good of humankind (and to help with chores). Gall's comic-book-style art was made by engraving on ink-coated clay board and using a wireless drawing tablet and Adobe software to add the bold colors. This technique suits the action of the outrageous story. Aspiring young inventors will enjoy identifying the assorted thingamabobs strewn throughout the pages and will wonder how they can get a talking cow of their own. A rollicking read.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.