A novel in four bites.
Graeme Base is one of the world's leading creators of picture books. His alphabet book, Animalia, received international acclaim when it was first published in 1986, and has achieved classic status with worldwide sales of more than 2 million copies. His most recent book, a novel for young readers called Truckdogs, is also available on audio from Bolinda. Graeme lives in Melbourne with his artist wife, Robyn, and their three children. Stig Wemyss is an actor, writer and the voice behind millions of children's audiobooks. Well, not millions. Thousands ... alright, more like hundreds ... he has a huge fan club. Bolinda audio is constantly receiving letters from kids saying things like 'Stig rocks' and 'I love Stig' and 'Stig Wemyss is the best narrator in the world'. Of course we don't show Stig all these letters, as he already thinks he's the best narrator in the universe! Stig is also the author of the exciting in-car audio entertainment series, The Tripp Diaries, so now he thinks he's the best narrator and the best author in the universe. We think he is too, but let's just keep that to ourselves.
Gr 5-8-TruckDogs is set in an alternative universe where animals and motor vehicles have merged into strange hybrids including TruckSheep and TruckRats. A loud, rowdy Mongrel Pack of young teen TruckDogs roams the town of HubCap, bored and kicking up trouble. The mayor's son, Sparky, feeling stifled and lonely, wants to join them. Most of the townsfolk are older TruckDogs who can't seem to remember what it was like to be young. Enter Rex, an older TruckDog mechanic who dispenses wisdom in Zen chunks, and the RottWheeler gang, led by a diminutive Chihuahua, Mr. Big, who is after the town's fuel supplies. The somewhat predictable plot is offset by the sheer novelty of the idea. This first chapter book by noted Australian picture book author and illustrator Graeme Base (Abrams, 2004) is a quirky, unusual tale (tail?) read with lots of enthusiasm and verve by Stig Wemyss. Each of the characters has his or her own voice, from Bullworth's basso growl to Rex's laconic, world-weary tones. Sparky is appropriately bouncy and eager, and the villain, Mr. Big, is especially fun, reminiscent of every cartoon bad guy with just a touch of Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies. The numerous characters are easier to follow in audiobook format than in print since each is voiced distinctively, but the sheer number of them may cause listeners to lose track of who is who. Those who hang on for the ride will have fun with this tale that's appropriate for the upper elementary and early middle school crowd.-Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.