Thursday, September 10, 2015

Little Robot

Little Robot is the tale of a lost robot and a little girl he meets who is quite handy with tools. Even though one of the main characters is not quite human, it is also a story about friendship, adventure, and dealing with other people. Most of the story takes place in a spare countryside, complete with a junkyard and lots of open space to explore and play. There is no adult supervision, but there is a pretty personable cat, a sinister and frightening retrieval robot, and a lesson learned about respecting your friends' wishes. The story is more fantasy fable than realistic, and I found it quite enjoyable and affecting. I found myself genuinely concerned for these characters' safety, and I was quite relieved and amused by how the story resolved. It's sort of a magical, child's version of Short Circuit, told in fairy tale manner, and I mean that in a good way.

This book's creator Ben Hatke is a graphic novelist and artist known for his Zita the Spacegirl trilogy and the picture book Julia’s House for Lost Creatures. His artwork is simple, clean, and expressive, and I feel it is very pleasing and fun. He speaks more about his work on Little Robot in this interview.

All of the reviews I have read about this book have been very positive. Publishers Weekly praised this modern take on a classic adventure, adding that "it’s a maker story, too, with a special spotlight on the girl’s ingenuity." The School Library Journal gave it a starred review, concluding that it was "Highly recommended," and "A pleasantly colorful adventure of discovery and friendship." Doug Zawisza wrote that it "celebrates differences and discovers similarities but, most importantly, it gives readers a fun, memorable story with endearing characters." Those interested can learn a lot more about the book by checking out the entries on its blog tour.

Little Robot was publisher by First Second, who provided a preview and much more here.

Thank you, Gina, for the review copy!

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