The world of Rolie Polie Olie is one spacey place, where everything is round and bounces with rhyme. William Joyce's latest book is an original story based on the characters from his computer-generated, Emmy award-winning television series. The result yields a crisp and colorful blend of Joyce's whimsical imagination and trippy effects of digital processing. Joyce has created a brilliant, almost three-dimensional world of bright, colorful shapes and sharp detail; a world where, according to Joyce, beds, cars, kitchen appliances, even the toilet have a personality. Kids familiar with Rolie Polie Olie through the Disney Channel series will certainly identify with this hardcopy version of the robot family. Rolie Polie Olie is your typical little space boy; he gets up in the morning, brushes his teeth, and recharges his head before joining his parents and sister Zowie at the breakfast table. After a yummy bowl of Rolie O's, Olie's family dances the Rolie Polie Rumba Dance in their underpants. Of course, there are chores to be done before leaving the house to do a lot of hidin', seekin', peekin', lookin', findin'. Toward the end of the day, however, Olie is wild and wired and refuses to go to bed. This lands him in rolie-polie trouble. Even robots must behave, you know. Though the characters are created from nothing more than a series of multi-colored spheres connected with what appear to be springs (the family dog resembles a canine Twinkie with chocolate chips for feet), the story carries itself along with the combination of Joyce's exceptional rolling rhymes and unique artistic approach. The digital treatment of the images gives the story an unusual sort of psychedelic flare, a la Teletubbies or Pee-Wee's Playhouse. Joyce's intent was to create a universe where Leave It to Beaver meets The Matrix or Bladerunner,'' but clearly, Rolie Polie Olie is in a remarkable world of its own. ¦ Jamie McAlister is a writer and father of two.

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