THE SEARCH FOR WONDLA by Tony DeTerlizzi (Simon and Schuster 2010) is another step beyond the confines of what we sued to call "book." First, let me say that the story is amazing: EVA9, a young girl reared by a robot named MUTHR (mother) must flee from her subterranean home when it is attacked. Outside and above ground for the first time, Eva must find her way to safety and get help for Muthr.
Along her journey, she will (of course) meet foes and villains. However, she also finds a new friend in Rovender, a long-legged blue creature from another planet. Otto, a behemoth water bear also comes to her rescue and becomes a trusted friend and companion. Dangers lurk everywhere and there are those who would capture Eva9 and put her on permanent display in a museum. But Eva9 is determined to find her way back to a place where there might be others like her.
DiTerlizzi's illustrations are unique for this story. Two toned illustrations do much to give readers a sense of the creatures and the setting for the story. And then there is the Augmented Reality (AR) piece. At different places in the book, readers can hold up the page to a computer with a webcam and see an interactive map projected on the screen. While some may pass this off as a gimmick, I am thrilled to see DiTerlizzi brave some new worlds and create some new landscapes for books.