If you’ve got a young budding inventor under your roof, you’re going to want to introduce him or her to Dawson. Dawson has been an inventor since birth, taking broken and discarded items and turning them into his own creations. Dawson takes the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle mantra and has a lot of fun with it. His room is filled with a basketball lamp, a bookshelf made from an old truck bed, and surfboards for bed rails.
Dawson makes all of these things in the quiet (and private) workshop that he’s built beneath the backyard. As you can see in the image below, he’s got quite a collection of materials to work with, all collected from his neighborhood.
Dawson’s parents are in full support of his hobby, but they still expect him to clean his room. And that’s what has driven Dawson to create the Vacu-Maniac, a robot built from a vacuum cleaner, a broken rake, a broom, a watering can, a gumball machine, and a pool hose. Oh, and he’s used an old bag of cat food for the robot’s brain. He turns on the Vacu-Maniac, and away it goes!
But there’s a problem! Vacu-Maniac is growing and growing, bursting out of the workshop and tearing up the neighborhood with its cleaning programming. No worries! Dawson build an airplane so he can fly in and switch off the Vacu-Maniac. Dawson saves the day!
Dawson’s adventure isn’t over, however. He’s now considered a superhero — Awesome Dawson — and he has made up his mind to only use his skills for good. For example, there’s an alien invasion that’s just started. Fortunately, Dawson has enough material to build a flying machine to battle the aliens. I think the world will be safe as long as Awesome Dawson is around.
Awesome Dawson is written and illustrated by Chris Gall. I’m fairly certain you’ve seen some of Gall’s illustrations, whether you knew it or not. His illustrations have a unique look to them — as his website states:
His artwork has been seen in almost every publication in America, including Time, Newsweek, People, Fortune, The New York Times, and the Washington Post. He has won over 50 major awards from such organizations as Communication Arts Magazine and the Society of Illustrators.
It’s an outstanding little 40 page book that is sure to delight any young maker, but I have to admit that I absolutely love the character myself and enjoy reading it to my boys. Awesome Dawson is a great reminder (for adults) of the power of imagination.
Note: I’d like to thank Chris Gall for providing the sample images from the book that I’ve used above.