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Wendel's Workshop. Chris Riddell

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  257 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Wendel is far too busy inventing things to keep his workshop tidy. So if one of his inventions doesn't work, Wendel just tosses it onto the scrap heap and starts over. Then one day he invents the magnificent Wendelbot--a mighty robot that cleans and cleans and doesn't stop. Soon poor Wendel finds "himself" thrown onto the scrap heap! How will Wendel win back his workshop? ...more
Paperback, 30 pages
Published February 1st 2013 by MacMillan Children's Books (first published June 6th 2007)
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3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  257 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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John of Canada
I have been reading a lot of political crap,and this book is a great break from Jane Mayer and the whole CNN,MSNBC,CBC gang.Yes you too Fox news.
Feb 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is it with robots? They seem to attract some of our best storytellers and illustrators. Further - you might expect that picture books featuring robots running amok would also convey a message about over-reliance on technology, or abuse of resources, or PUT DOWN THE NINTENDO YOU SHOULD BE PLAYING OUTSIDE... but most of them don't. Or if they do, the message is soft-pedaled, as it is in Wendel's Workshop. Nothing worse than getting hammered over the head with a message when all you're trying ...more
Sep 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would highly recommend this book to readers aged 5+. Wendell the mouse is a very untidy inventor. His inventions are flawed, but after building the perfect robot to help him things go from bad to worse. This book highlights many important themes for children such as accepting others as they are and sustainability. Exuberant illustrations by the author make this book a fun read.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Wendel was an inventor. Sometimes his inventions worked perfectly, and sometimes they didn't. When they didn't, Wendel just threw them away and started again."

Due to his endless inventing, Wendel's workshop becomes a huge mess. So, he invents a robot to help him clean up. However, his first robot, Clunk, doesn't quite get the idea of how to clean. So, Wendel throws him on the scrapheap and starts over. His 2nd robot, Wendelbot, is too good at cleaning up and soon chucks Wendel onto the scraphea
Checked this out of the library because I like Chris Riddell’s illustrations in the Rabbit and Hedgehog series, and I wants to practice my drawing by copying some more of his work. I was impressed by the story as well. It was an original plot, with a bit of action. Seems a great one for kids who like to tinker and invent things, especially if they like robots. I think this would particularly appeal to boys.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wendel learns that just because something doesn’t turn out perfectly the first time or exactly the way he wants it to be doesn’t mean it’s not useful. At first he throws out many things into his scrap heap, but through a series of events (involving a very tidy robot) he learns that all those things in the scrap heap can be turned into imperfectly wonderful things. That’s a message I like.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, comics
Well, first things first - it is a book for kids so don't expect an elaborate, inventive, original plot. You will not get it. What you will get, on the other hand, is a wonderful little book full of cute illustrations that your kid will love and you will enjoy. What more is there to wish for on mere 32 pages?

I loved it, my daughter did too!
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this with my two-year old and it was fun explaining to her the roles of robot in our lives. Hahahaha We hope to reread this when she is bit older and understand the importance of tidying and making use of things instead of throwing it out.
Sarah Coles
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ks1, eyfs, friendship, psed
A lovely story about a very clever, yet untidy mouse whose inventions don’t always go to plan. Beautiful illustrations that brilliantly capture the characters’ personas. Children might like to do some inventions of their own based on this story- what would they have their robots do?
Heydi Smith
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-one-on-one
Love this book. A fantastic tale about robots. My only wish is that it was bigger as it would be a great read for a group storytime but is too small to share as a group. So, I'd say, fantastic one on one read.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one is an often quoted favourite in our family - fun illustrations and a cute story ... with a good underlying message
Miss Ryoko
I checked this out because I enjoy Chris Riddell's art but unfortunately I found this story kind of boring. The illustrations were cute though
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-released as Wendel and the Robots
Inderpreet Uppal
This is a perfect book for 5-year-olds and my son just loved it. He made me read it from cover to cover at least a dozen times. He had borrowed it from the school Library and we thoroughly enjoyed the book. The cover itself is a big plus. The creative and beautiful illustrations are really attractive.

The story has all the elements to enthrall little readers. Inventions, robots, a few glitches and a good lesson, in the end, makes Wendel's Workshop a memorable book. The inventor Wendel is so busy
McKenna Banks
This is a super cute book about a great mouse inventor named Wendel. He loved to create things, so much so that he never had time to clean up or do anything else. To solve his problem, he made a robot named Clunk to clean up his place while he worked. Clunk tried so hard to please Wendel, but he just couldn't do it quite right. Wendell got tired of Clunk messing things up, so he threw him down the garbage chute and started over. He names his new robot the Wendelbot. Wendelbot cleaned everything ...more
T Crockett
Jan 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
This is one of those great children's books where the adult can enjoy it as much as the child does. Wendel is wonderfully human and naming his super-tidying robot after himself gives Wendel's character a bit more depth than you'd expect. I've read it to kids ranging from preschool to 2nd grade and they all enjoyed it. The pictures are full of great details and play a pivotal role in the story.

If you're familiar with Help Me Get Ready to Read by Susan Marx and Barbara Kasok you'll appreciate the
Jesse McMorris
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wendel’s workshop is about an inventor that doesn’t like anything that isn’t perfect. He always throws away his work that is imperfect or doesn’t do a thing the right way. He builds a robot to help keep his shop clean but he ends up throwing away the robot. The robot doesn’t do that good of a job so he is imperfect and he gets thrown away by Wendel. But now he has a robot that does is job too well, because the robot then throws himself a well. This is a pretty interesting kids book and has a lot ...more
Britta Krueger
Wendel is very busy in his workshop fixing things and inventing things. When something doesn't go his way he scraps it and starts over. One day he develops a magnificent Wendelbot. Something that never stops cleaning! But this Wendelbot starts cleaning his whole workshop and soon Wendel finds himself in the scrap pile. This cute read-aloud is a good illustration on how Wendel will find his way and get his workshop back. The word choices throughout the book illustrate how Wendel really feels abou ...more
Wendel is an inventor and a perfectionist. He throws out anything and everything he deems below par, including a robot he built to clean the shop, but instead made more of a mess. His next robot is great at cleaning, but doesn't know when to stop. He begins destroying the shop assuming everything is trash and kicks Wendel out. While laying on his own trash heap, he realizes the value hidden in what he once thought was useless. After a victorious robot battle for Wendel's side, he regains his wor ...more
Brady Stevens
The idea of building robots is believable and the concept of a poorly programmed robot wreaking havoc is a staple of this genre, fits nicely for the age group. The illustrations do a good job of providing a clear setting, you really understand how messy Wendel is, how vast the scrap pile, and how dark and alone Clunk is when he is thrown out. The theme is appreciation. Wendel learns that appreciation is good and he learns to appreciate his imperfections and gets his shop back and running and his ...more
Dec 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wendel is an untidy inventor who is a bit reckless with his creations. As soon as he spots problems with an invention, he dumps it and starts again. Then, he creates a machine that does its job of cleaning his workshop so well that it sees fit to rid of him as well. Only then does he realize the error of his ways, using his rejected inventions to take back his workshop from his invention on a rampage. All in all, this is a book about tidiness, that touches on the importance perseverance in inven ...more
Jul 29, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review, childrens
A subtle and very clever environmental message indeed. Just because something you have created has went wrong or doesn't work does not mean that we should just throw it away and start again? Well in many cases that is exactly what our society will do. This cute little book by Chris Riddell illustrates very beautifully and in a comic book style that sometime what we might throw in the scrap heap can also help us out when we get ourselves in a pickle!
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Little inventor Wendel has many ideas, but when they don't work out perfectly they go down the trash chute. Which seems so little a thing until one of his inventions sends him down the trash chute instead. Learning the value of his own work, and the value of others, Wendel keeps inventing without wasting. While this sounds like an odd ode to recycling this story is actually charming in not just it's illustrations, but in how Wendel never gives up...and never stops inventing.
May 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fun story with great illustrations and an environmental message about reusing and fixing things rather than just throwing them away. It also speaks to the fact that no one is perfect and that we should not disregard or "throw away" someone just because he or she has flaws. It's a nice tale and we enjoyed reading it together. We loved the last scene best, with the Wendelbot being put to good use.
Aug 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture
Lovely and amazing illustrations with a cute storyline of friendship and recycling in this small picture book.

Speaking from a public library standpoint this book will most likely get lost on the shelves because of it's size. The story is great, but the format/layout doesn't serve the story very well at all. Also the font which I believe is Times New Roman reminds me too much a Word or Publisher document.
Wendel is an inventor- and a slob. He throws out everything that isn't quite right. He even invents a robot to clean things up, but eventually gets put on the scrap heap himself, learning a valuable lesson.

Sort of fun for a theme on recycling.... Several pages have a series of smaller illustrations- maybe ok for older story time.
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents with young children, children who can read
Shelves: children-s
This is a wonderful book with great illustrations. The story is about an inventor mouse who throws away anything that doesn't work just right - instead of trying to fix it. It's a bit scary, a bit silly, and a lot of neat! The ending is sweet and the topic of robots is one you won't find in many other young children's book. I will be looking for more books by Chris Riddell.
Wendel is an inventor who needs to tidy-up. So he invents Clunk, a robot. Clunk tries so hard, but makes a lot of mistakes and is dropped out to the rubbish heap. But when Wendel creates a new robot he might have gotten more than he asked for and might need help from Clunk after all.

Great illustrations!
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story and illustrations! My son is obsessed with this book. We took it to dinner last night, and tonight at dinner we discussed wasteful habits based on Wendell's issue of throwing away robots. That led to the concept of perfection and what that means. I know this book will be in our nightly line-up for a while.
Dom Conlon
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
The story is a lot of fun and great for early readers to grasp (and Dads to follow) but it's Chris Riddell's illustrations which really take centre stage. Wonderful eccentric and imaginative, they confirm his place as one if the finest cartoonists around.
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Chris Riddell was born in Cape Town, South Africa, where his father was an Anglican priest and a member of the ANC. The family moved to England in 1963, when Riddell was one year old, and he spent his childhood in a number of different locations, as his father moved between parishes. Both of Riddell's parents continued to be active in the anti-apartheid movement.

Chris Riddell is an internationally