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*Coppernickel: The Invention* by Wouter Van Reek
Coppernickel: The Invention
by Wouter Van Reek
Ages 4-8 32 pages Enchanted Lion Books April 2008 Hardcover    

Coppernickel the bird is reading a cool book about inventions. When he notices that the last page of the book is blank, he tells his dog Tungsten that the blank page means that there’s still room for a brand new invention - by him! He wants to build something “simple and really useful” that no one has ever thought of before.

Coppernickel has the perfect idea: he’ll build a machine for picking elderberries from high branches. The machine will have wheels and a special extending elderberry gripper. Coppernickel adds a steering wheel, a rotating berry fork, a pair of high-hanging elderberry feelers, a bramble-bush stepper with thorn resistant telescoping legs, and many other embellishments.

Soon Coppernickel has managed to build a huge and incredibly complex machine. But when the machine turns on him, Coppernickel learns that the simplest solutions are sometimes the best ones.

Coppernickel: The Invention is a whimsical and clever tale, and the illustrations of Coppernickel (what a terrific name!) and Tungsten are amusing. In the Netherlands, the original Dutch version of the book received the Zilveren Penseel award for illustration. An animated version of the book won first prize at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.

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