Dyckman’s debut offers pitch-perfect pacing and gentle humor in a sweet story about a friendship that prevails over confusion.
Boy and Bot immediately hit it off and play together until Bot’s power switch gets bumped. Instead of realizing the problem, Boy thinks something is wrong with his new friend, so he brings him home and unsuccessfully tries to rouse Bot with applesauce and books. While Boy is asleep that night, Bot’s power switch gets bumped again, and he thinks there’s something wrong with Boy. With pleasing parallel structure, Bot brings Boy home and tries to revive him with oil and by reading aloud an instruction manual. He wonders if putting a new battery into Boy will solve the problem, but an inventor suddenly appears and shouts, “Stop! That is a boy!” The shouting awakens Boy, and then the inventor drives him home. Throughout, Yaccarino’s stylized gouache paintings heighten the text’s humor, but their greatest contributions come in the final, nearly wordless spreads depicting the two wide-awake friends’ happy, ongoing companionship.
Perhaps these closing scenes anticipate more stories to come about these friends, since, as Boy and Bot would say, it’s “affirmative” that this book will be a hit. (Picture book. 3-6)