Mega Mash-Up: Robots vs Gorillas in the Desert (series #1)
What You Need to Know:|
• Mega Mash-Up books are interactive, graphic novels.
• There are currently six different Mega Mash-Up books.
• This is a great series to try with reluctant readers and budding artists.
• There is a handy picture glossary at the back of the book to give children ideas for drawing.
In Mega Mash-Up: Robots vs Gorillas in the Desert, the gorillas and the robots have been peacefully co-existing together. The gorillas in the jungle provide the robots with the oil they need, and the robots supply the gorillas with bananas in return. Everyone gets along really well until the fateful day the leaders of each group get into a dust-up. Then, all bets are off. They each refuse to give the other their necessary supplies. Both parties soon realize they can't live without their oil and bananas, so they challenge each other to a race in the desert to settle the dispute.
The plot is simple and the action quick, as it should be in an early chapter book. What makes the Mega Mash-up series unique is that it requires input from the reader. Throughout the story, the reader is invited to participate by drawing their own illustrations and filling in text bubbles in spots deliberately left open. For example, on the page of the dust-up, the reader is asked to draw an onlooking robot and also fill in the words in a speech bubble with what the crowd is saying. This is perfect for antsy little readers who need to be more involved in the story. This will also be well-received by budding artists.
The interactivity and the subject matter will most certainly appeal to reluctant readers (read: boys especially). The subject matter is just silly enough to make them giggle, but it isn't at all inappropriate. A pair of underpants may have made one appearance and there were some slimy slugs - but that's about it. Each Mega Mash-Up book teaches a little non-fiction as well. In this one, the readers learn a little bit about desert wildlife and climate.
The publisher, Nosy Crow (an imprint of Candlewick Press) has set up a great website for kids where readers can go to watch videos of the authors, print out pictures to color, upload their own drawings, and do lots of other fun things.
Nikalas Catlow & Tim Wesson
Nikalas Catlow & Tim Wesson
2011, 96 pages
Humor, Animals, Adventure, Books for Boys, Graphic Novel
• Have you ever visited a desert? What is it like?
• Do you think you would like to live in a desert? Why or why not?
• Do you know what a mirage is? Do you think mirages are real? Why or why not?
• What happened at the end of your story? Did the gorillas and robots fight again?
• Which did you enjoy more: being an author of this book or an illustrator? Why?