RAGING ROBOTS AND UNRULY UNCLES by Margaret Mahy

RAGING ROBOTS AND UNRULY UNCLES

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The irrepressible New Zealander strikes again with a comic tale (coming to the US long after its 1981 publication) about twin brothers--Jasper, who dedicates himself to villainy, and sanctimonious Julian--and their rebellious progeny, loath to emulate their parents. Jasper's seven sons (Caligula, Tarquin, Ghengis, et al.) fail miserably to excel in a school with courses like "Despicable Treason" and "Utter Selfishness," while Julian's daughter Prudence, scorning roles like goody-goody or heroine, likes to fix TVs. Escaping their zealous fathers, the eight set up a remarkable business incorporating their several talents--a garden/restaurant/library also offering fortunetelling and TV repair. Meanwhile, the dads are dogged by robots that carry their doctrines to the ultimate--a blue-eyed, candy floss- haired doll that harasses Julian with improving stories, and the larcenous "Nadger," whose depredations keep the police hot on Jasper's trail. All of this is served up in ebullient wordplay, especially with the vocabulary (and cliches) of iniquity and righteousness, which will be most hilarious to those already familiar with it. As Mahy neatly ties up the rambunctious events, the Nadger observes that "They made us too simple in the wrong way...we are their thoughts...we go on and on for ever, unchanging." Indeed; and these shenanigans illustrate this serious thought with notable wit. Stevenson's comical drawings, on almost every page, add substantially to the fun. (Fiction. 9- 12)
Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 1993
ISBN: 0-87951-469-8
Page count: 94pp
Publisher: Overlook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1993




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