Though I generally hate comparisons to other books, I can’t resist it here. The Creature Department has a lot in common with Roald Dahl’s Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. Elliot and Leslie get a tour of the R&D department of DENKi-3000, headed up by Elliot’s uncle. The department’s totally secret and no one has ever been allowed in, but in the face of the company perhaps being purchased by Quazicom, they’re learning the secret. Unlike Willy Wonka, DENKi-3000 staffs not oompa-loompas but creatures. The rest of the story is pretty different, but the basic premise is straight up Charlie in the Chocolate Factory.
Then add in a dose of Monsters, Inc. when we meet the creatures staffed at DENKi-3000. The creatures are quite lovable, most of them, and as varied in design as those in the Pixar movie. The accompanying illustrations of the monsters are sure to delight young readers as well. Kids love stories about strange creatures, so this will totally be a win.
The Final Verdict:
I really don’t have anything to say against The Creature Department. It does what it does well, but I’m not the ideal audience. But, if you have kids who love Monsters, Inc. and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this is probably a super safe bet.