cover image Oh, No! (Or, How My Science Project Destroyed the World)

Oh, No! (Or, How My Science Project Destroyed the World)

Mac Barnett, illus. by Dan Santat, Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4231-2312-5

Santat and Barnett collaborate seamlessly on this slapstick adventure about a pigtailed, bespectacled science fair entrant trying unsuccessfully to control her prize-winning robot. "I probably shouldn't have given it a superclaw, or a laser eye, or the power to control dogs' minds," she sighs as she watches the metallic monster storm across her city. Barnett's (Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem) telegraphic text packs wicked humor into economical, comic book–style lines, while Santat's (Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo) skylines pay homage to old monster movies. In one scene, the robot looms Godzilla-like, railroad car in hand, over an urban Japantown; another sequence is viewed through its fish-eye lens, with crosshairs trained on its creator. When the robot reacts with fury to the girl's futile attempts to stop it ("I should have given it ears," she laments), the girl and text become blurred, testimony to the impact of its stomps. Blueprints for the robot and the genetically altered toad she deploys to defeat it are included on the endpapers, but, kids, don't try this at home! Ages 3–7. (June)