Imagination and progressive relaxation are the key to powering down little Buddy, the boy “robot.”
With spiky blond hair and chubby pink cheeks, Buddy looks in the mirror at his new robot pajamas and proclaims, “BEEP! My battery is on! I can walk and talk!” As bedtime approaches, Robo-Mom turns on her techno-voice and orders Ro-Buddy to turn on his “jumping button” until his “turbo charger” is worn out. The science-fiction dialogue continues through a trip to the family bathroom for a visit to the “space station potty.” When Robo-Dad commands, “Time to activate your cuddle pod,” the toddler climbs into bed while his parents start to “power down” each part of Buddy’s very active body. “Ro-Buddy, please turn off your legs. BEEP! BEEP! Be still, legs. Be still.” The techno-themed scenery and language are kept to a minimum, offering just enough to give it an imaginative flavor; the center of the book focuses on relaxation. With gentle and methodical repetition, each wiggly part is powered down and ordered to be still: legs, bottom, belly, arms, and face. Bowers’ illustrations have a laser focus on Buddy, capturing the active hands and feet of a toddler playing make-believe. Overall, the storyline and pictures are a typical parenting go-to-bed book rather than one for true robot fans.
Searchers of progressive muscle-relaxation books for children will find this choice interesting, but readers after robot fare should look elsewhere. (Picture book. 2-4)