Elliot and Leslie are obsessed with the slick and beautiful headquarters of the world's 8th largest electronics company, DENKi-3000 — it is the only interesting thing about their little town of Bickleburgh. The products produced there, like Wireless Breath Mints and the Fright Bulb, are amazing. But when the kids are invited by Elliot's Uncle Archie to tour the Research & Development Department, they discover the secret to the company's success.
THE CREATURE DEPARTMENT (Razorbill, Nov. 5th 2013) uncovers the creative and unexpected DENKi-3000 inventors kept behind closed doors (unknown even to the company's stockholders). They are creatures in the truest sense of the word -- some ugly, some beautiful, some tiny, some huge. The kids, of course, are thrilled.
But there's a problem. The company needs to produce another outstanding invention to keep from being shut down, and when Uncle Archie disappears the children are the only ones who can help the creatures come up with something that fits the bill. Plus they seem to have a talent for creature science and selecting the right intangible essence -- the power behind the inventions.
It's a race against time to come up with a new product and to find out what happened to Uncle Archie -- who must have wanted them to know about The Creature Department for a reason. Maybe the kids are destined to save DENKi-3000. But they'll have to tap into their inner-creature to do it.
Weston has created a wonderfully imaginative tale, depicted in wild and rambunctious illustrations by Zack Lydon of Framestore -- famous for its visual effects in films such as Harry Potter, Gravity and IronMan 3. The story clips along nicely, keeping younger readers engaged with silly banter and creature names that seem like they were thought up by a 3rd grader. Kids will love the assortment of inventions and recipes for creating them -- and may be inspired to dream up a few of their own.