by Dolan, Elys

When a group of weasels plot to take over the world, they encounter some technical difficulties.

Elys Dolan grew up in a part of England that consists almost entirely of trees and cows, and she was named after a department store in Wimbledon. She’s never let either of these things hold her back and recently graduated from the Cambridge School of Art. She was awarded second place in the Macmillan Prize and was also short-listed for the Waterstone’s Picture This Prize. She lives in Cambridge, England.

Weasels: cute, frolicking rodents or agents of world domination? Debut author-illustrator Dolan clearly demonstrates the latter in this zany story. The weasels, who all work in the control room of a world-domination machine, are five seconds away from their goal when something goes terribly wrong, and the machine breaks. What to do? In a furry flurry, the weasels scramble to find a solution. Did they try turning it off and turning it on again? Maybe if they had one more cup of coffee they could find a solution. Clever readers will know what the real problem is long before the distractible weasels figure it out, but that won't stop kids from poring over each oversize spread to see what each nutty weasel is up to. Dolan ratchets up the already-silly premise with her cute, cartoony illustrations of industrious, big-eyed rodents scrambling over the page-up and around machines awash in knobs, levers, and reels. From the clever before-and-after endpapers to the satisfying concluding countdown, Weasels will tickle your funny bone. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Ultracaffeinated weasels plotting world domination face a setback when their room-sized, Rube Goldberg–ian machine breaks down. They scurry to troubleshoot, many of them inappropriately insistent on deploying tools like a blow torch, saws and a large electric drill. Luckily, the Health and Safety officer prevails, and the gang repairs to the laboratory to tinker. Dolan's mixed-media double-page spreads feature busy, often multileveled interiors, with scores of critters furiously causing as much trouble as they ameliorate. In the lab, one weasel activates a fire extinguisher while another demurs: "I just thought a few candles would cheer the place up." Observant kids will discern that Dolan cleverly employs a blue-eyed white weasel as both the cause and the solver of the machine's malfunction. Their parents will chuckle over the Blofeld-like weasel stroking a white mouse. The final twist bucks the banal, customary "Good triumphs over evil" message in favor of something more akin to "Try, try again." Darned if those weaselly co-conspirators haven't conquered the world after all: A page turn reveals a new currency, freshly installed heads of state and a revisionist retrofit for an Egyptian sphinx. Amid sight gags, crossed wires and way too many espresso drinks, these weasels rule! (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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