M. M. Wheezee
M. M. Wheezee is the composite pen name for Mark Wheeler and Marc Zabludoff, two old friends who manage to work together although they live on opposite sides of the country.
Mark Wheeler is a senior media relations officer for the UCLA Health System where he writes about science and healthcare, and daydreams about tunnels. Earlier he was the editor of that university's alumni magazine, and a freelance writer for the likes of Smithsonian and Discover magazines. He was also a senior editor at Discover, where he met and reported to Marc Zabludoff, now his co-author. He lives in the San Fernando Valley with his wife and Golden Retriever Rusty, who isn't as smart as Mikey but also doesn't drool.
Marc Zabludoff has wandered through several careers, with artist, teacher, and cook being among the more interesting. For more than a decade he was the top editor at Discover magazine, a publication dedicated to communicating science to a mass audience of self-defined adults. (It was there that he recognized the peculiar talents of Mark Wheeler and assigned him to the role of chief humor writer.) For a similar but more discerning audience of children, he has written eighteen allegedly educational books, many of them focused on creatures with tusks, fangs, or way too many legs. He lives in New York City with his wife and daughter, both of whom find his taste in animals appalling.
Where to find M. M. Wheezee online
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Smashwords book reviews by M. M. Wheezee
- Tobor the Carry-On Robot
on Oct. 20, 2013
Move over R2D2 and CP3O.There’s a new robot in town—or, more accurately, out of town. Tobor (robot spelled backwards. Get it?) is the star of the Middle Grade book Tobor, the Carry-on-Robot, by Robin Wulffson.
When Sean Maclure and his two siblings, young Allison and his pain in the rear older sister Caroline, hear that their grandparents are going on a vacation to Southeast Asia, they want to go. Bad.
But the trio has school, and their mom says no way. So Sean comes up with the greatest of ideas—his granddad, a recently retired engineer, could built them a robot that could travel with their grandparents and send back reports on their adventures.
So granddad does just that—builds a walking, talking robot, one that would compact down and make itself into a suitcase for easy travel. It has “eyes” (digital cameras), ears (microphones), batteries that provide the power to let him walk, and a ton of computer memory that lets him “learn” phrases and words. Most important of all, Tobar, the name the three kids came up with, has an internet connection which allows it to both access information and serve as a tour guide, and send back daily reports about the sites they visit.
The travels of this clever robot is a sly way for children to learn about the culture and history of Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore. Grandparents Charles and Elizabeth have their personal tour guide in Tobor by day; by evening he reports back to the three grandkids with sound and pictures and all the adventures of the day. Author Wulffson, who with his wife took the actual cruise Tobor takes, and who served in Vietnam during the war, illustrates his book with his own photographs.
This is a fun way for kids to learn about other countries and people, and how they live. Tobor is endearing, and when he is kidnapped by two unsavory characters and winds up on a very leaky boat in danger of frying his circuit boards, it’s almost as if it’s a real person in danger of dying. Tobar is a fun read, educational for kids and their parents too.