Too long has it taken the Green Onion Blog to review the work of Dav Pilkey. The author/illustrator of children’s literature is a staple in our household and millions of other homes. Creator of the highly popular Captain Underpants series, its collection spin-offs, and a multitude of other kid favorites. Rolling in at number 2 on Green Onion’s top 5 children’s authors list, and cracking my son, Zyler’s favorite books, he has also won some other equally important awards and mentions, like Disney’s Kid Choice Award. Working through the Dav Pilkey library is entertaining no matter what age you may be, especially if you enjoy silly alliterations, or childish potty humour. Although, such ridiculousness is the Pilkey signature, in 2000 he released a new series that featured a little less ludicrous approach (note: a little).
Inspired by the authors long time interest in old Japanese monster movies, Dav Pilkey wanted to create a series with the giant monster theme. Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot, originally titled Giant Robot was changed due to the robot not being all that giant at two and a half feet tall, was originally published in 2000. Relinquishing the reigns of illustration, artist Martin Ontiveros was brought on board. After the series was ended at seven books in 2005 and Mr.Pilkey took a hiatus from his career to care for his ill father, the series was re-launched and re-illustrated in full colour by Dan Santat in 2014.
Featuring a young mouse by the name of Ricky, who is facing troubles with bullying at school. The lonely rodent dreams that something big would happen and he could make a friend of his own. After evil rat scientist, Dr. Stinky McNasty faces issues with his world destroying robot and punishes it, Ricky stands up for the over-sized machine and a friendship is born. Ricky makes a home for his new companion in his parents garage. Angered by the events, Dr. McNasty returns to turn a classroom pet lizard into a giant, obedient monster. It is up to Ricky and his mighty robot pal to best the abomination and save the town of Squeakyville.
Full of laughs and heartwarming morals, the middle grade book is a perfect read for children who dream of high adventure. With features like Dav Pilkey’s signature flip-o-rama, and battles between giant monsters, this is a book that is certain to entertain. 4/5 is a standard rating for this brilliant creator. Last week I wrote up a post about Zyler learning to read, one of his biggest drawing factors is to be able to read books just like this, on his own. Dav Pilkey seems to have a switch in his creative head to connect with the mind of a child, this book is just one more example of his abilities. A must read for kids 3 to 12-years-old, that will be near to their hearts, and initiate them into a life time love of reading.
Thanks booknerds, if you see a giant robot being picked on today, don’t miss the opportunity to make a mighty friend.