Posted by Venus on Saturday, January 24, 2015
Labels: intermediate book review
Illustrations by Brian Biggs
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Frank Einstein is an inventor, as he was bound to be with a name like his. In his search for the perfect invention for the science fair, Frank accidentally gives life to Klink and Klank, two super computers with personalities. With their help, Frank and his assistant Watson, create an antimatter flying machine, but not before his archnemesis, T. Edison steals the idea and the robots.
I love John Scieszka's picture books, which are hysterical and often ridiculous. (Stinky Cheese man, anyone?) Going into this book, I had rather high hopes, but was disappointed with the execution. There is a great deal of science, which typically would make me happy, but it was haphazardly inserted throughout, pulling the reader out of the story as they tried to muddle through the heavy science jargon. Thank goodness for some of the illustrations or I would have been completely lost. It also left me with a lot of questions. Why is a kid this smart in elementary school? Why would he even be entering a science fair project when it is clear that he is intelligent enough to be taking high school if not college level science? If a kid really did invent these things, there is no way they would be allowed to keep the technology to themselves.
The humor was age appropriate, with sarcastic robots, bad knock knock jokes, and evil monkey's which proves that Scieszka knows his audience even if the plot was clunky and predictable. Seriously, T. Edison tries to murder Frank & Watson and no one calls the police on them?
This is, in essence, a bridger book. Perfect for the kid who has outgrown Captain Underpants, but isn't ready for Harry Potter. For that reason, it has a place, but I have a feeling this is a book that adults will push on kids, simply for the science aspect, even if the kid isn't interested. That said, there are some funny moments that are sure to make an eight-year-old laugh out loud so who knows.