Saturday, June 25, 2016

Bucky and Stu vs. the Mikanikal Man

Bucky and Stu vs. the Mikanikal Man by Cornelius Van Wright. unpgd. Nancy Paulsen Books/ Penguin Young Readers Group, July, 2015. 9780399164279. (Review from finished copy courtesy of Blue Slip Media)

My, my. How did I miss adorable homage to imaginative play? Many thanks to Blue Slip Media for remedying this. 

Bucky and Stu, two adorable bffs clad in homemade superhero outfits (the yellow rubber gloves are a hilarious touch) do battle against a variety of homegrown baddies delightfully constructed of various and sundry household items, such as boxes, vacuums and mops. I actually had this flashback to the clubhouse my brother made way back in the time of dinosaurs when I was young. That rickety contraption was a fort, a war bunker, a ship, and even a space ship and provided hours of play when our mother kicked the six of us out of the house for the day to find our own entertainment.

Bucky and Stu are totally in sync, totally engaged in their story, which is collaborative and a perfect outlet for their seemingly boundless energy, until it's time for lunch. Then food is the only thing on their minds. Once recharged, Bucky shows Stu, Mikanikal Man, a super-duper robot villain that only needs a power source for them to do battle with. A rain storm drives the boys indoors and a lightning strike powers Mikanikal Man. 

The next day, the boys are puzzled when they find that Mikanikal Man is missing, then terrified when he looms over them. Have the superheroes met their match?

The water color and pencil illustrations perfectly capture the boys' frenetic energy as does the ever-changing type-face. The illustrations have a graphic novel feel and contain lots of fun little details. This is definitely one to ham up during read aloud. The group I read the book to loved it and they all wanted to look at the book again to chuckle over the pictures.

Bucky and Stu vs. the Mikanikal Man might just inspire some free play in the library and, hopefully out of doors instead of in the basement on electronic devices. 

Don't miss this gem. Here's hoping to seeing some more of this dynamic duo in action.

ETA 6/29: Thanks to Mr. Van Wright for commenting! Please visit Bucky and Stu's website for cool animations, a curriculum guide and more!


  1. Dear Proseandkahn. Thank you for your exciting review of Bucky and Stu vs The Mikanikal Man. It is my hope that this book will help stoke kid's imagination to be creative with the things around them. I too, as a kid, used anything I could get my hands on to create a life-size analog 'playstation'! Please visit for some fun animations of the Duo. Thanks again for the kind review. Best,Cornelius Van Wright

  2. You're most welcome! Thank YOU for the link to I will edit to add the link in my post. Cheers!