Illustrated by Stephen Lewis

(7-9 years old)

Doohickey gets a job as the professor's assistant. But all he's allowed to do is clean the house.

So, when the professor goes out, Doohickey decides to put his newest invention to good use. After all, what could possibly go wrong?


ISBN-10: 0198447752 • ISBN-13: 978-0198447757

The UK edition is part of the Treetops Series for the Oxford Reading Tree


US Paperback • ISBN: 1590550161



The idea for this book came to me while I was typing another story. I was supposed to type 'mow the lawn and Hoover the carpet', but I got it mixed up and typed 'mow the carpet' by mistake. I thought about how funny it would be if other jobs got mixed up and how that might happen.

It wasn't until after I had finished the story that I realised how similar it was to The Sorcerer's Apprentice. This is an old fairy tale about a wizard's assistant who uses magic to do the housework for him.

I originally wrote the story as a picture book, but my agent thought that there was too much happening in it. She suggested that I rewrite it as 'chapter fiction'. This meant I needed to write twice as many words. I thought that a good way to do this was to introduce another character - someone that Doohickey could talk to when the professor had gone out.

This is where Newton, my favourite character, came in. He doesn't actually do anything in the story. He just stands around making unhelpful comments and pretending to be cleverer than he really is. I expect that most people can think of someone they know that behaves like that!

Illustrations © 1999 Stephen Lewis. Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press.


Doohickey ve Robot
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Gwasg Addysgol Drake