Monday, December 2, 2013

MMGM -- Creature Department

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born.

Creature Department
Robert Paul Weston

"The Creature Department is sure to appeal to those middle graders who like a lot of silliness, a bit of rickum rockery, and a giggle of grossness jumbled together in their stories. The scattered black and white drawings nicely complement the amusing text."
—New York Journal of Books

It’s a tentacled, inventive, gooey world in there…
Elliot Von Doppler and his friend Leslie think that nothing ever happens in Bickleburgh, except inside the gleaming headquarters of DENKi-3000 – the world’s eighth-largest electronics factory.
Beneath the glass towers and glittering skywalks, there’s a rambling old mansion from which all the company’s amazing inventions spring forth. And no one except Uncle Archie knows what’s behind the second-to-last door at the end of the hall.
Until Elliot and Leslie are invited to take a glimpse inside.
They find stooped, troll-like creatures with jutting jaws and broken teeth. Tiny winged things that sparkle as they fly. And huge, hulking, hairy non-humans (with horns). The Creature Department is unlike anything they’ve ever seen.
But when Chuck Brickweather threatens to shut down the DENKi-3000 factory if a new product isn’t presented soon, the creatures know they are in danger. And when Uncle Archie vanishes, it’s up to Elliot, Leslie, and every one of the unusual, er, “employees” to create an invention so astonishing it will save the Creature Department.
Yes, this book is every bit as fun as it looks, and so are the awesome websites and videos they have put together based on the character Gugor--SO awesome.  If you haven't already picked this one up, I suggest that you do. It's a middle grade masterpiece!
Fun Spots to Visit: 

  • Trailer: HERE
  • The Creature Department Website: HERE
  • Gugor's vlog on Essences: HERE
  • Gugor's vlog on Creatures: HERE
Robert Paul Weston is the author of Zorgamazoo, a novel entirely in rhyme, which was an E.B. White Read Aloud honoree and a “natural descendant of the works of Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl.” It was also a Booklist starred top ten debut of 2008 as well as a recipient of the California Young Reader’s Medal, the Silver Birch Award, and the Children’s Choice Award.
Weston’s second novel was the hardboiled fairy-tale Dust City, which was nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Young Adult Mystery.  Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff published in February 2013.
Gugor/Illustrator interview: 

All of Zack Lydon's time is devoted to drawing things. When he is not drawing a blank, he is probably drawing a bath. Part of Zack's daily routine involves drawing attention to things that look pretty, smell curious, or sound eerie. Zack seldom draws attention to himself, because he dislikes drawing crowds - too many details.

Zack is currently a designer at Framestore NY where he draws a good deal of inspiration from the talented folks around him, and subsequently, draws pictures. At Framestore, Zack has worked as the illustration and animation lead for the campaign, an info graphic for Motive, and the concept artist for the Wikileaks documentary “We Steal Secrets,” among other campaigns.
Using drawings to tell an original story was an amazing experience for Zack, and he intends to do it for the rest of his life.


Rosi said...

This looks like a lot of fun. I bet my grandkids will like this. Thanks for telling me about it.

Old Kitty said...

Gugor is totally adorable! LOL!

And the book he's in sounds utterly charming! Take care

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the recommendation. It looks fun. I got an ARC but don't have time to promote it on my blog so am donating it to our local middle school. Sounds like one the kids will like.

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Shannon. Thanks for sharing about this book. What a cute cover! Sounds like it will be a fun book to read. : )

Joanne R. Fritz said...

I'd heard of this but didn't really know what it was about. Too cute!

Author and illustrator both sound like a couple of very talented young men.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shannon - I think the story line sounds so much fun - and so creative .. would love to read it!

Good luck to Robert Paul .. cheers Hilary

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