The Otherworldly Adventures of Tyler Washburn: The New Kid

illus. by Ahmed Aldoori. 48p. Design Studio Press. 2012. Tr $19.95. ISBN 978-1-9334-9277-3. LC 2012931961.
Gr 1–4—Creative doesn't adequately define Tyler Washburn. He is also ingenious. He devotes his free time to inventing gadgets and irritates his family and classmates when his creations don't work as planned. While he is testing a new invention at school, he discovers that the janitor's closet contains a secret elevator, so he rides to the bottom where he finds his principal. She invites him to cross a portal to another galaxy to experience a very different type of school. When Tyler arrives at The Society of the Technologically Advanced, he finds it full of other creative types from outer space. It's a good match for him because these students are rewarded for their talents instead of feeling misunderstood. Tyler saves the day when he develops a plan to enable his class to return from the planet of Engogia after they become lost during a field trip. Cole is well known for his digital matte paintings of scenes found in numerous films, including The Lord of the Rings, Avatar, and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. In this first book for children, he has created fantastical creatures from imaginary worlds that add a new dimension to Tyler Washburn's life. The length of the story lends itself to older readers who will enjoy the complex scenery, unusual aliens, and detailed spreads.—Diane Antezzo, Ridgefield Library, CT

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