Author and illustrator David Wiesner is known for his richly detailed and beautifully illustrated picture books for kids that tell a complex story – all with little or no words. His books are truly a feast for the eyes, and often require more than one reading.
His latest, Mr. Wuffles!, is no exception. The titular character, Mr. Wuffles, is a black and white tuxedo cat. Despite every expensive toy his owners buy him, Mr. Wuffles is disinterested. That is, until something in his pile of discarded toys begins to move! The viewer can see from inside the toy an alien race of green ant-looking creatures in robes is actually piloting what looks to be a tea diffuser ball, in search of adventure in alien landscapes. The crew is ready to disembark and begin their mission, when a pair of giant cat eyes appears in their only window. Soon the crew inside the space ship is batted about as Mr. Wuffles finally finds something interesting to play with. The small space aliens to speak in speech bubbles in the pictures, but their language appears as a simple geometric form of hieroglyphics. When Mr. Wuffles loses interest and turns over for a catnap, the crew decides to escape to underneath a nearby radiator to salvage what is left of their mission. There they find help from the primitive ant tribe and a lone ladybug who bravely distracts Mr. Wuffles more than once while the aliens complete their mission with the help of the ants, replacing damaged instruments with local materials.
If you find yourself in need of more wordless picture books for your young readers, a class assignment, or even for reading yourself the library has three other books by David Wiesner that fit the bill: Flotsam, Tuesday, and Sector 7. Each book is unique but all are illustrated in the same style.
You can get the book reviewed here and more great titles to watch, read, listen to, or play with at the Port Library at 1718 N. Hersey in Beloit.