A young boy discovers that a robot makes for some fine low adventure in this gentle British farce. When Humbert's mother is invited to do a lecture tour, his father--who doesn't do ""practical things""--can't care for him; so Humbert is bundled off to black-sheep Uncle Bellamy along with a new Type One Housemaster robot named Manders. This paragon is programmed for cooking, housework, shopping, gardening, and any other number of routine activities, but not for kite-building, washing swivel mirrors, or walking five dogs at once; Humbert witnesses with delight the catastrophes that occur as Manders acquires these new skills and helps head off a few more. Meanwhile, he and Manders become fast friends. Unlike Yolen's Robot and Rebecca, the two don't solve any mysteries, but their comic antics should keep readers chuckling; and Manders has unusual charm, even for a robot.