Comic-book action, an innocent backyard, and four siblings with wild imaginations combine to create an adventurous afternoon.
A girl of mixed Asian/white descent named Laura heads out into the front yard with her little sister, Molly, to help rake leaves. But Laura has a secret identity—Masterpiece Robot—and so do her siblings. To them, the outside world offers exciting perils and the potential for adventure. Each vivid, dynamically illustrated spread splits into comic-book panels that alternate between brightly colored reality and a somber comic-book world in which Masterpiece Robot and Sidekick (Molly) battle the Ferocious Valerie Knick-Knack, an older sister, with the help of their brother, Lord MekMek. The children crash and smash through piles of leaves in a sci-fi battle with spaceships, blasters, and robot parts as our heroes try to save the world. Humorous text, split between dialogue and narrative in a manner typical of comic books, asks, “Will the world as we know it become forever shrouded in despair, misery, early bedtimes, and extra servings of vegetables?” Family, imagination, and the endless possibilities of outdoor play intersect at the core of this lively, memorable story, written by a Vietnamese-American graphic novelist.
This story neatly celebrates the everyday life experiences of a diverse family and the magic of togetherness in the face of all kinds of adventure. (Graphic fiction. 7-11)