cover image Awesome Dawson

Awesome Dawson

Chris Gall. Little, Brown, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-21330-1

With great horsepower comes great responsibility. So learns Dawson, a boy whose mechanical-mindedness lets Gall make full use of his skill for drafting the sort of straight-from-kids’-dreams machines he showcased in Dinotrux and Revenge of the Dinotrux. With goggles, tool belt, and a massive basement workshop, Dawson is a creative genius in the vein of Dexter (from Dexter’s Laboratory, not Dexter). With the support of his sidekick/friend, the equally creepy and hilarious Mooey (a disembodied mechanical cow’s head), Dawson creates a giant robot to do his chores for him. As might be expected, the Vacu-Maniac goes out of control, which is what happens when you build robots from whatever is lying around (“The Vacu-Maniac has a brain made of cat food,” bleeps Mooey). In the town-threatening battle that follows, Mooey’s bodilessness turns out to be an asset. There’s a light message about reusing so-called junk to make, well, awesome new inventions (Gall labels every soda can, hockey stick, and grocery cart wheel that goes into Dawson’s creations), but the emphasis is on a larger-than-life sense of fun. Ages 3–6. Agent: George Nicholson, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Mar.)