Award-winning author/illustrator David Wiesner presents a nearly wordless picture book about a black-and-white cat named Mr. Wuffles.
In Mr. Wuffles! (2014 Caldecott Honor Book), the reader meets Mr. Wuffles, a black-and-white cat modeled after Mr. Wiesner’s own cat. Mr. Wuffles is not your typical cat–he doesn’t care for fancy cat toys. In fact, the title page shows him ignoring several with their price tags still attached. Then he strolls past a small spaceship without a price tag like the others. There is something different about this toy, for it is not a cat toy.
Unbeknownst to Mr. Wuffles, it is a real spaceship filled with aliens. As Mr. Wuffles plays with the spaceship, the aliens deal with their damaged equipment and recognize they must leave the ship to find supplies to fix their broken equipment. They barely escape the spaceship to find safety with the insects hiding behind the radiator where they find cave-like paintings showing the interactions between Mr. Wuffles and the insects.
The communication among the aliens, and between the insects and aliens are drawn in speech bubbles using symbols like those found in hieroglyphics. The comic-book panels and full-page spreads move the story along without using any English text except when Mr. Wuffle’s owner talks to Mr. Wuffles.
Weisner uses ink and watercolor paintings to tell the story of the aliens, the insects, and their battles with Mr. Wuffles. It is interesting to note that the other 2014 Caldecott Honor Books are wordless books, and it is no surprise that Mr. Wuffles! is included in this group, as Weisner presents a delightful story using little more than his engaging pictures.
Recommended for public libraries and school libraries.
Carol R. Gehringer
—reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, 2014.