Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot (series)

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Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Unpleasant Penguins from Pluto upcoming book cover

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot is a series of children's books written by Dav Pilkey (best known for his Captain Underpants books) and first seven books illustrated by Martin Ontiveros and all nine books, including two long-awaited sequels, illustrated by Dan Santat.[1]

Publication history[edit]

In each book, Ricky Ricotta, a mouse, with the help of his mighty robot, saves the world from an evil villain. Also, the books each have an alien creature from a different planet in order from closest-to-sun to farthest-from-sun including Earth, as the villain of the first book is from Earth. The reader could see the villains being jailed in each series and later notice the familiar villains from previous books.

The books appeal to young children with a "Flip-O-Rama" section. In these sections, the reader can "animate the action" by quickly flipping between sets of pages. The result is a simple two-frame flipbook. The sections are usually devoted to fight scenes between Ricky's Robot and villains.

The first three books were originally published as Ricky Ricotta's Giant Robot. Dav Pilkey stopped using the word Giant in the year 2002 after many young fans pointed out that the Robot really isn't a giant. He's just 12 times taller than a mouse, so he's really only about two-and-a-half feet tall. Many young readers suggested the adjective "Mighty" instead, so after careful consideration, Pilkey changed the title on all the books.[2]

Dan Santat replaced Martin Ontiveros as illustrator in 2014 and had the first seven books re-drawn by Santat plus illustrated the remaining two books that were not published with Ontiveros as illustrator. The books 1 through 5 with Santat's illustrations released in 2014, books 6 and 7 released in 2015 while the new books 8 and 9 released in 2016.[citation needed] This happened that back in 2012, a Ricky Ricotta fan in Canada begged Pilkey for more Ricky Ricotta books and shortly after that, his editor and the publisher decided to not only create more Ricky Ricotta books, but also to re-illustrate the previous books modernly in colors plus add never-before-seen mini-comics. Pilkey's editor asked who he wanted for re-illustrations and he chose Dan Santat as the only illustrator in mind and fortunately for Pilkey, Santat agreed to re-illustrate all seven books, plus illustrate two new remaining, unpublished Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot adventures.

Novels[edit]

Ricky Ricotta novels[edit]

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Mutant Mosquitoes from Mercury[edit]

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Mutant Mosquitoes from Mercury (2000) is by Dav Pilkey and illustrated by Martin Ontiveros (2000 version) and Dan Santat (2014 version), the second in the series.

The story opens with a demonstration of how Ricky's robot helps him out. Ricky looks through the robot's telescopic eye, sees all the way to Mercury, and thinks it's cool. But Mr. Mosquito doesn't think the same thing, since he lives on Mercury. He hates the extremely hot days, and the very cold nights, so he tries to find a place with more favorable conditions. He decides on Earth, and creates 'Mutant Mosquitoes' which he uses to take the world over. Meanwhile, Ricky spots the Mutant Mosquitoes and he asks his teacher if he can go, but he is refused because he has to finish his math test first. Thanks to Ricky's Robot, he solves the final problems in a jiffy. The Mighty Robot defeats the mosquitoes with a spray, sending them back to Mercury. Angry, Mr. Mosquito drags Ricky into his ship, turning his ship into a Robotic Mecha-Mosquito, which battles Ricky's robot. However, Ricky's Robot refuses to fight back, because it is worried if it does, Ricky will get harmed. Ricky distracts the mosquito by requesting to use the restroom and climbing out of the window. His robot fights and wins the battle. Mr. Mosquito is then locked up afterwards.

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Voodoo Vultures from Venus[edit]

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Voodoo Vultures from Venus (2001) is by Dav Pilkey and illustrated by Martin Ontiveros (2001 version) and Dan Santat (2014 version), the third in the series.

The story starts when Ricky Ricotta and his Mighty Robot are late for supper because they were in the capital of Hawaii, collecting seashells. Ricky's mom says that he has been late for supper all week, and tells Ricky and his Mighty Robot that they cannot watch TV until the both of them learn their own responsibility. Since the Mighty Robot is unfamiliar with the meaning of responsibility, Ricky decides to explain that it means doing the right things at the right time. Of course, while the duo are good at the right things, they have trouble with doing them at the right time. Ricky and his robot sleep under the stars, while every other mouse in Squeakyville is watching TV.

Meanwhile, on Venus, the Voodoo Vultures want to eat good food, so they shoot a laser beam to all of the TVs in Squeakyville. All of the TVs then start hypnotizing the mice who were watching TV. Ricky and his Mighty Robot realizes the next morning that the mice are hypnotized and were ordered to take food to the army of Voodoo Vultures. Ricky comes up with a plan to make chocolate chip cookies, which are stuffed with hot chili peppers. Ricky then pretends to be hypnotized and takes the cookies to the vultures. The Voodoo Vultures fall for the trick, and dance around in pain from the spicy taste. This gives the Mighty Robot some time to break the remote control. The Squeakyville mice are now free from hypnosis, and they all flee back to their houses. Ricky's Mighty Robot then battles against the Voodoo Vultures. In the end, the Mighty Robot wins the fight. The Voodoo Vultures then fly back to Venus, except for the Voodoo Vultures' tyrant, Victor Von Vulture. The Mighty Robot and Ricky then put him behind bars and Ricky arrogantly brags at him saying that he needs to learn responsibility. Ricky and his Mighty Robot then come home on time and the story ends with Ricky and his Mighty Robot watching Rocket Rodent on TV.

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Mecha Monkeys from Mars[edit]

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Mecha-Monkeys from Mars (2002) is by Dav Pilkey and illustrated by Martin Ontiveros (2002 version) and Dan Santat (2014 version), the fourth in the series.

Ricky and his robot grow tired of playing hide-and-seek, so they decide to go skateboarding instead. But there is no skateboard big enough for the Mighty Robot to ride on, so Ricky resorts to using his parents' minivan. After Ricky Ricotta and his robot accidentally destroy the minivan, Ricky's parents scold them for what they've just done. On the planet Mars, Major Monkey still feels lonely, even after building a number of machines for company. So he decides to enslave the mice on Earth ... but not before disposing of the Mighty Robot first.

Ricky Ricotta and his Robot are trying to figure out how to deal with the problem about the minivan, when a space mouse floats down to Earth. Ricky's robot follows the ship, but it's a trap! With the robot captured, Major Monkey and his army of Mecha-Monkeys launch an all-out assault on Squeakyville. Ricky feels bad about what's happened to his friend, and wonders what to do about it. Just at that moment, a general from SASA arrives to save his robot from Mars. When Ricky approaches the lab, it turns out to be an Orangu-Tron! Ricky infiltrates the lab and frees his pal from the mech's clutches, then sets it to self-destruct.

The Mighty Robot takes the shuttle back to Earth, and after fighting the rest of the machines, Major Monkey is imprisoned for his evil deeds. When the general asks how they can repay Ricky and his robot, Ricky requests a new minivan. Ricky's parents race home the heroes in their new rocket-powered minivan, and everyone has cheese pizza and root beer.

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Jurassic Jackrabbits from Jupiter[edit]

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Jurassic Jackrabbits from Jupiter (2002) is a children's novel by Dav Pilkey and illustrated by Martin Ontiveros (2002 version) and Dan Santat (2014 version), the fifth in the series.

It is Ricky Ricotta's birthday, and his parents plan to take him to the dinosaur museum with his annoying cousin, Lucy ("Oh, NO! Not Lucy! She is a little pest!"). Meanwhile, on Jupiter, General Jackrabbit plans to take over Earth. He goes to Earth on his rocket ship, which lands on the dinosaur museum. Lucy, Ricky, and his parents notice the skulls on the dinosaur skeletons are gone, which General Jackrabbit stole. Ricky and his Mighty Robot then go the rooftop of the museum. They find the spaceship there. General Jackrabbit then gets some hairs from his tail and puts them in the DNA machine with the dinosaur skulls (the DNA strands were incomplete) and then the machine works. Three eggs pop out of the machine. They then hatch (into a Rabbidactyl, Trihareatops, and a Bunnysaurus Rex). Then General Jackrabbit makes them grow bigger with his "Meany Machiney". The Mighty Robot confronts the Jackrabbits, but General Jackrabbit blasts the Jackrabbits with the Meany Machiney again. The Jackrabbits defeat the Mighty Robot. Ricky wants to save his robot, so he rings the doorbell on General Jackrabbit's rocket ship. Two Robo-Rabbits open the door, replying that they will only accept Jackrabbits. Ricky gets help from Lucy when she disguises herself as a Jackrabbit. The Robo-Rabbits fall in love with Lucy. While the Robo-Rabbits bake food for her, Ricky sneaks upstairs and finds General Jackrabbit with the Meany Machiney. General Jackrabbit smells carrot cake, so he goes downstairs to see what the Robo-Rabbits are up to. Ricky then switches the complex controls from "Big, Ugly 'N' Evil" to "Little, Cute 'N' Sweet" and then zaps the Jurassic Jackrabbits. When the General catches Ricky messing around with his machine, Lucy hits him in the face with a pie. Then, the three rabbits are put into their rocket ship and thrown back to their home planet by the Mighty Robot. Ricky and the Mighty Robot return the dinosaur skulls and bust General Jackrabbit. Lucy finds the little Jurassic Jackrabbits cute, and keeps them as pets.

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Stupid Stinkbugs from Saturn[edit]

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Stupid Stinkbugs from Saturn (2003) is a children's novel by Dav Pilkey and illustrated by Martin Ontiveros (2003 version) and Dan Santat (2015 version), the sixth in the series.

Ricky Ricotta and his Robot visit Ricky's Uncle Freddie and Aunt Ethel, and his annoying cousin Lucy. Ricky gets irritated because Lucy always wants to play Princess. Meanwhile, on the dark, smelly, polluted world of Saturn, Sergeant Stinkbug grows tired of the planet and decides to find another world to dump junk. Stinkbug decides to kidnap Earth's leader and spies on the planet. When he sees Lucy, Sergeant Stinkbug swoops down to Earth and kidnaps her while Ricky and his robot and the three Jurassic Jackrabbits (Cupcake, Fudgie, and Waffles) are snacking away.

While Sergeant Stinkbug tries to interrogate Lucy, her Jurassic Jackrabbits come to the rescue. But Sergeant Stinkbug summons a few of his greatest warriors and gives them "Grow-Big Gumballs", causing them to grow. The Mighty Robot battles well against them at first, but Sergeant Stinkbug gives them more Gumballs, making them bigger than they were before. Fudgie and Cupcake manage to swipe the Gumballs from under the stinkbugs' noses, and Ricky chomps them down. Once he is as big as the stinkbugs, he battles against them and wins. But then he soon realizes that he still needs to get rid of the foes. Then he sees that Lucy had the rest of the Gumballs (she enjoys Gumballs so much), and has grown way bigger than anyone else. She grabs the rest of the stinkbugs, stuffs them back inside the spaceship, and hurls them back to Saturn. Fudgie and Cupcake find "Super-Shrinking Saltwater Taffy" and feed it to the two cousins. Once they are back to normal, they throw Sergeant Stinkbug in jail.

When Ricky and Lucy get back and tell everyone what happened, they think it's all just part of a game they were playing. Ricky's father is happy that Ricky played nice with Lucy, though. The book finishes with the heroes celebrating their victory.

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Uranium Unicorns from Uranus[edit]

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Uranium Unicorns from Uranus (2005) is a children's novel by written Dav Pilkey and illustrated by Martin Ontiveros (2005 version) and Dan Santat (2015 version), the seventh in the series.[3]

The book starts with Ricky being humiliated by his giant robot saying the lines "This is fun! This is NOT fun". Ricky wishes that his Mighty Robot would have someone to play with himself, however, Ricky's wish actually turns out to be a plan of the evil Uncle Unicorn, who had destroyed Uranus by having previous villains dump waste. He creates a Ladybot, certain that he will be the first one to succeed. Hopefully, he does, and Ricky's robot, hypnotized, falls in love with the Ladybot and gets abducted, unknown to Ricky, who now regrets his wish. Finally, he decides to find his robot and does so in the woods, where his robot is chained to a rocket ship and guarded by Uncle Unicorn's Uranium Unicorns, who are under the command of the Ladybot besides the evil Uncle. Ricky, shocked, stops by his cousin Lucy's house to borrow her Jurassic Jackrabbit, Waffles, along with Lucy herself. However, upon entering the Ladybot, they are captured by Uncle Unicorn and tied up, hanging above the Generator.

Ricky discovers that the Generator is sensitive to water and tries to sweat more and spit. He asks Lucy to spit for him, but she refuses. Ricky thinks up a plan and makes her burst into tears by saying that everything she loves will be destroyed. The robot breaks free of the spell and battles the Unicorns. However, Uncle Unicorn starts the backup generator and makes the Ladybot grow into a bigger, deadlier machine ... who trips from her tied-up shoelaces. The characters discover that the cause was made by none other than Fudgie and Cupcake, the other two Jurassic Jackrabbits. Ricky's robot throws the Ladybot and the Uranium Unicorns into space and puts Uncle Unicorn in prison which is getting crowded. The book ends with Ricky reading a bedtime story to his Robot.

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Naughty Nightcrawlers from Neptune[edit]

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Naughty Nightcrawlers from Neptune (2016) is a children's novel by Dav Pilkey and illustrated by Dan Santat. The 8th book in the series, it released in 2016 after spending over a decade in development hell.

Ricky and his Mighty Robot were bored until when his parents got in their car to go shopping, Ricky's mother told him and the Robot not to make any mess while they're gone and then his father gave Ricky an idea of building a fort. While the parents were gone, the mayor of Squeakyville wanted to demolish an abandoned building but it costs money to do so, so Ricky and his Robot saved the mayor's trouble by tearing down the building for free. With all the debris from the building, Ricky and his Robot built a fort, which made noises that annoyed Farmer Feta, who lived next door to Ricky. When the parents arrived home, they saw the fort that Ricky and his Robot built. Ricky's mother was displeased and called the fort a mess and said that the Ricotta family is having Cousin Lucy, Uncle Freddie, and Auntie Ethel as their guests in their house. When the relatives arrived, Lucy called the fort a castle and said it should be painted pink, much to Ricky's dismay. Meanwhile, on planet Neptune, Nimrod Nightcrawler was planning to take over Earth due to their planet being cold and clouded with poisonous vapor after some greedy Nightcrawlers dug for fossil fuel which caused all of the Nightcrawlers on Neptune to live underground but he also knew about Ricky's Robot. Nimrod launched a rocket with an inflatable teleporter (wormhole) to planet Earth, which crashed at Farmer Feta's property. Through the teleporter, Nimrod convinced the Farmer that he can stop Ricky and his Robot for their annoyances by digging under his property, but the Farmer did not mean for Ricky and his Robot to be harmed. When the digging began, the fort started to tumble and when the Robot tried to keep it stable, he fell into a deep pit set up by Nimrod and his army of Naughty Nightcrawlers. After that, the fort crashed down on the Robot, trapping him. Then Ricky, Lucy, and her pets Cupcake, Fudgie, and Waffles, went through the teleporter to investigate and arrived at some underground home of the Nightcrawlers on Neptune. The Nightcrawlers in the tunnel caught Ricky, Lucy, and her pets with their tight squeeze but the heroes freed themselves by tickling the Nightcrawlers. Then they went back to Earth through the teleporter but the Nightcrawlers followed. Then the Robot got freed by Lucy who was riding on one of the Nightcrawlers' robo-suits (assumed to be riding on her unicorn as a princess) by digging him up. The Robot scared away the Nightcrawlers who followed them and made the Nightcrawlers return to Neptune through the teleporter. After that, the Robot defeated the rest of the other Nightcrawlers who were destroying Squeakyville. They, too, ran away back to Neptune through the teleporter and Ricky and his Robot jailed Nimrod Nightcrawler. Soon, Ricky, the Robot, Lucy, Cupcake, Fudgie, and Waffles cleaned up the mess by throwing away all the debris from the destroyed fort into the teleporter, destroying computers and other technology belonging to the Nightcrawlers in the underground tunnel of Neptune. With the deep pit in the yard, Lucy filled it up with water by a garden hose and made it into an artificial pond. The story concludes as Ricky, the Robot (using the deactivated wormhole/teleporter as his inflatable tube), Lucy, and her pets happily swam in the backyard pond.

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Unpleasant Penguins from Pluto[edit]

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Unpleasant Penguins from Pluto (2016) is a children's novel by Dav Pilkey and illustrated by Dan Santat. The 9th book in the series, it released in 2016 after spending over a decade in development hell.

Ricky and his Robot were having fun in their backyard pond until Cousin Lucy ruined the pond with pink bubble bath. Ricky was upset about that and said mean stuff to Lucy, making her sob. Meanwhile, on Pluto, President Penguin felt upset that scientists in Squeakyville no longer consider Pluto a planet. Then he set off to Earth with his guards (Clancy and Nigel) together with the captain and the first mate. On Earth, Ricky and his Robot decided to make amends to Lucy and since Lucy loves flowers, they flew to Hawaii to pick up some beautiful flowers and planted them on a mountain in Squeakyville so Lucy can see her name planted with flowers on the mountain. Before Lucy got to see the mountain, President Penguin's spaceship, which was shaped like a castle, landed on the mountain. Then Ricky called Lucy for forgiveness and told her to look out her window. When she saw the castle-like spaceship on the mountain with her name planted with flowers, Lucy, Cupcake, Fudgie, and Waffles ran to the spaceship, thinking it was a real castle built by Ricky and his Robot. When they approached the guards, Clancy and Nigel, the guards obeyed Lucy as their princess and baked goods for her in the "castle". Ricky and his Robot saw that three Penguin-Mobiles (operated by President Penguin, the captain, and the first mate) were invading Earth. Ricky and his Robot appeared to be no match for the Penguins, but Lucy and her pets rushed to help and they were also stopped by President Penguin, believing that he won the battle. Then Clancy and Nigel, who were showing loyalty to Princess Lucy, shot missiles at Penguin-Mobiles, destroying them. After jailing President Penguin, Lucy told Clancy and Nigel that they should be the next Presidents of Pluto so the two, new Presidents of Pluto took off with the captain and the first mate and flew back to Pluto. Since the jail was full, the expanded jailhouse was under construction. At home, Ricky and his Robot welcomed Lucy and her pets to the pond, having fun together. Ricky's parents thanked their son for apologizing and making amends to Lucy.

Ricky Ricotta activity book[edit]

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Astro-Activity Book o' Fun[edit]

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Astro-Activity Book o' Fun (2006) is an activity book by Dav Pilkey and illustrated by Martin Ontiveros. It contains puzzles, true-or-false, and even a first peek at Naughty Night Crawlers from Neptune and Un-Pleasant Penguins from Pluto (but these two later sequels were not released under illustrator Ontiveros).

References[edit]

  1. ^ van Straaten, Tracy. "Newly Re-illustrated Editions of Dav Pilkey's Ricky Ricotta Series". Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Pilkey, Dav. "Ricky Ricotta". Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Preschool to Grade 4". School Library Journal. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 

External links[edit]