Interest Level: 3-8
Mr. Wuffles is hard to please – he disdains cat toy after cat toy offered by his ever-hopeful owners, until a little metal object that looks like a tea strainer catches his attention. He bats it about until he finally loses interest, settling in to nap next to his newfound toy. Except it’s not a toy – it’s a tiny spaceship filled with miniature aliens. As Mr. Wuffles snoozes, the aliens brush themselves off, bruised but relatively unhurt. Not so for the spaceship – an important device is damaged, and the aliens must brave forth in search of repair materials. They emerge silently and are chased by the instantly inquisitive cat, whose claws just miss the visitors! Taking refuge under a radiator, they discover a treasure trove of what may be very useful items, and a group of household insects who are ready to help! Nearly wordless (though I did decipher “say cheese!” from the alien lettering!), this splendidly illustrated book, using comic-style panels as well as traditional full-page ones, will spark the imaginations of children who will find more to discover every time they pick up this Caldecott Honor book. Wiesner perfectly captures the cat in all his moods – bored, intrigued, alert, and playful, and I enjoyed exploring the insects’ own drawings of their adventures with Mr. Wuffles. Perfect for preschoolers and early elementary ages who suspect aliens might live among us. A great introduction to science fiction in picture book/graphic novel form too!
More reviews and discussion of this picture book: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17165875.