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IF I HAD A ROBOT by Dan Yaccarino


by Dan Yaccarino & illustrated by Dan Yaccarino

Age Range: 2 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-670-86936-8
Publisher: Viking

 Rather than eat his vegetables, Phil conjures up an imaginary robot to do it for him. Automation proves seductive. As Phil expands his daydream so that the robot--at first the size of a large cardboard box--not only gobbles lima beans, but takes Phil's bath for him and handles chores, the chunky, retro-looking automaton also grows. No longer a work drone, the mechanical man is now ``an enforcer.'' Phil's daydream takes on despotic proportions- -``I could be king of the world, master of the universe!''--as he peers up at his gigantic buddy, only to be interrupted by his mother's prosaic, yet enticing, suggestion, ``Whoever eats their vegetables gets chocolate cake for dessert.'' Phil puts aside his dreams of world domination, helping himself to cake as he concludes, ``If you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself.'' The fantasy becomes very large, but the yearnings never leave the realm of real childhood concerns. Yaccarino (Big Brother Mike, 1992, etc.) uses the artwork, printed on matte paper, to reiterate his materialist conclusion, by subtly grounding Phil's fanciful imaginings in rotund, weighted images. (Picture book. 2-7)