Saturday, July 25, 2015

Picture book review: Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner @HMHCo

Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Clarion Books

A 2014 Caldecott Honor Book In a near wordless masterpiece that could only have been devised by David Wiesner, a cat named Mr. Wuffles doesn't care about toy mice or toy goldfish. He’s much more interested in playing with a little spaceship full of actual aliens—but the ship wasn't designed for this kind of rough treatment. Between motion sickness and damaged equipment, the aliens are in deep trouble.When the space visitors dodge the cat and take shelter behind the radiator to repair the damage, they make a host of insect friends. The result? A humorous exploration of cooperation between aliens and insects, and of the universal nature of communication involving symbols, “cave” paintings, and gestures of friendship.

I don't know why it took so long for me to realize that over the span of raising three children many of the picture books I loved to read had been illustrated by David Wiesner. Night of the Gargoyles, The Three Pigs, Flotsam, Art & Max. What? How could I blunder this badly?

Well, now that I am aware of this, I will say Mr. Wiesner continues to impress me with his glorious illustrations and his stories as he has done with Mr. Wuffles! I often wonder what's going on with one of my three felines when one is suddenly fixated or taken with something I simply cannot see. Mr. Wuffles! suffers from the same affliction. Luckily for us, Mr. Wiesner has translated with art exactly what this cat has encountered.

With many terrific and vivid illustrations which relay the story without the need for words, readers experience what this nosy black cat does when he can't leave a space ship alone. The aliens become friends with the local bugs and they learn how to communicate and protect each other from a certain paw smacking cat. Mr. Wuffles! is humorous, full of great pictures, I enjoyed their style and the varied use of each page to convey the story. There's a lot going on these pages and only numerous readings will let both reader and those being read to delight in picking up a new impression with each subsequent reading. Lots of fun, just leave any house cats out of the room while reading.

Rating: 4 of 5
Cover comment: Who cannot adore this cat and his antics?
Book source: Library 

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