________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 9 . . . . December 22, 2006


Over the Rainbow With Googol and Googolplex. (Orca Echoes). 

Nelly Kazenbroot.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2006.
61 pp., pbk., $6.95.
ISBN 1-55143-469-5.
Subject Headings:
Human-alien encounters-Juvenile fiction.
Robots-Juvenile fiction.
Grade 1-3 / Ages 6-8.
Review by Tanya Boudreau.
*** /4 


That night, a bad windstorm howls through the trees. It breaks branches. It rattles the cabin’s windows and doors.
Aunt Sara, Pippa and Troy don’t sleep very well. They keep getting woken up. At seven o’clock in the morning, they meet in the kitchen for hot tea and raisin scones.
Aunt Sara lies back on the couch and listens as the wind dies away. 

“Boy, did I have some weird dreams last night,” she mumbles over her teacup. “First there were cows in my bedroom. Then I was visited by two little robots. And the robots were mooing!” 
Suddenly, Pippa and Troy are wide-awake. They stuff the rest of their raisin scones into their mouths and run to the back windows.
Aunt Sara’s back lawn is covered with broken branches. In between the branches are dozens of hoofprints and some odd wheel tracks.

Googol and Googolplex have returned to earth to continue their scavenger hunt. This is their third visit. They land by Pippa and Troy, their scavenger hunt friends. On this trip, Googol and Googolplex need to find the colors in the rainbow, a ball of wool, and cow’s milk. However, the rainbow chase proves impossible, and the hunt for milk is going to be extremely difficult because they are not allowed near Farmer Ben’s cows. Googol and Googolplex do get some red wool, but it’s only a temporary possession. The red wool is needed for an emergency mending situation.  


     Just like Googol and Googolplex, young readers will become educated by the characters in this book. During the story, Pippa and Troy explain how rainbows are made and why you can never catch one. Farmer Ben explains how cows are milked, both by electric milking machine and by hand. And Aunt Sarah has prisms that impress!  

     While Pippa and Troy have been keeping Googol and Googolplex a secret, they are learning where these robot aliens are from and how to interact with them. If Pippa or Troy hear a big bumblebee noise, it’s likely to be the invisible spaceship hovering nearby. They are learning to read Googol and Googolplex’s emotions too. When sad, Googol and Googolplex beep. When alarmed, their bellies blink. They use their mouths to distribute paper lists, not for eating and drinking, as they are solar powered. Despite all this knowledge, Pippa and Troy still need to look at Googol and Googolplex’s wrist blocks to tell who is who.  

     While Pippa and Troy are expanding their knowledge of alien life, Googol and Googolplex are learning about life on planet earth. Besides the science they are learning from Pippa and Troy, on this trip, Googol and Googolplex learn that cows don’t have feathers and that their spaceship can fly with a bull head imprint on it. As well, Googol and Googolplex discover a talent they have! They know how to communicate with cows. They can moo and be understood.  

     Children who read Over the Rainbow With Googol and Googolplex will be wondering if the alien pair are going to be seen by Aunt Sara or Farmer Ben because there are many close calls in the story. In addition, two particular scenes stand out in the book. I chuckled when Googol and Googolplex were touring Aunt Sara’s log cabin, and when Googol and Googolplex were milking the cows. Pippa and Troy come up with a way these metal handed robot aliens can hand milk cows! Children who become hooked on the Googol and Googolplex series will want to read about their next adventure. As Googol and Googolplex say their goodbyes, they promise they will be back as they need to look for coconuts! 

     Googol and Googolplex were first born as Lego characters which the author built many years ago. She has since brought them to life in the Googol and Googolplex series. She illustrated the interior of this book in pencil. Every two or three pages has a black and white illustration which captures the life of these characters. Laura Watson illustrated the cover in acrylic colors.


Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB. 

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.