Little Robot is a graphic novel (with very few words) that I saw a few months ago reviewed somewhere and I thought that it might be just the thing for my five year old who can’t bear to sit still while we read at night. Instead, he and his three year old sister dance, fight, mosh , dress the dogs and well… do just about anything else (other than listen) while my seven year old and I glare at them from the top of book. So here, at last was my solution. A picture book where I could have Jamey do the interpretation of the story. And it worked! It worked so well that we read the entire 144 pages last night in one sitting–and I’m here to tell you a few things about it.
Little Robot is a simple story about an unnamed little girl who sneaks out of the house, ditches school (or might not be old enough for school yet), goes into the woods and finds some unresponsive metal (mayyyyybe resembling a robot) and figures out a way to activate it. But the robot is like a little kid and can’t quite get walking down. With the help of the little girl and her trusty tool belt found in the junkyard, she tinkers with him and together they walk arm and arm back into the woods–exploring and learning about the world together. The robot doesn’t quite understand what he is, but he figures out that he is not the same as the little girl and the other woodland creatures that they encounter. Things get tense when a large robot from the factory gets sent out in search of the missing “Robot #12” and we see an entire assembly line of robots in boxes just like the little girl’s kind little friend. What’s going on in this factory? Why is there so much secrecy and what humans are in charge of these menacing large robots? Most of these things don’t overtly get answered in the actual book, but in our extensive conversations on the book–we have a few ideas (I’ll leave you to come up with your own). To go into more detail would tell you the whole story and I don’t want to do that. I’ll just say that it deals with strength, courage, the need for strong friendships, and the ability to change. Both Jamey and I are hoping that someday there will be another installment of their adventure but for now, I’ve already gotten a request to reread it again tonight (which is good enough for me!).
The robot reminds me a little bit of Wall-E, because while it doesn’t talk, it definitely emotes feelings and sounds (which the 7 year old did for us with glee); and while the little girl only spoke a few lines here or there you could definitely sense the fierce bond between them as she attempted to befriend him, protect him and give both of them what they truly needed–friends. It’s charming and simple but it does have a message that you wish just adults would embrace as hard as my kids seemed to do. It says that the target audience is between 6-9 and but it held the five year old’s interest best. It was also a nice break from my “radioactive kid books” (The Gone Series) that I just can’t seem to quit. New review on book #3, coming soon!