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From the Robbie's Big Adventures series, volume 1

by Gary Cook ; illustrated by Adam Sward

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-938063-25-1
Publisher: Scarletta Press

With a storm rolling in and the power shorting out, a young boy finds a new source of entertainment in Cook’s salute to the imagination.

A hard rain has put the kibosh on going outside, and a downed tree has cancelled the wonderful world of electronics. “Oh Robbie, come on. / Just wait, you'll be fine. / Sit down and start thinking. / You'll have fun in no time!” So Robbie makes himself a costume—always a good first step—and then lets his brain and toys take over as he pilots a spaceship, saves the city from monsters, fights aliens, joins the circus. It’s kind of like a Nike ad: Just do it. There are no great secrets here, just letting imagination run wild. Cook’s forcibly rhymed text is not going to set any reader’s hair on fire, with its lock-step predictability and clunky scansion. Sward’s artwork shifts all about, from spooky dark to slimy monsters to a clown who is more terrifying than all the rest of the beasts and aliens combined. Then the sun comes out, the power returns, and Robbie heads outside, where he can still let his imagination roam.

Low-key but amiable; still, the terrible verse makes this a no-go. (Picture book. 4-8)