In this frenetically paced, abundantly punny graphic novel, three robot brothers battle revamped fairy-tale tropes.
In this series’ second outing, the eponymous red, cerulean, and gray Brobots find their plans to enjoy a quaint and bucolic picnic dashed when they realize they’ve forgotten their picnic basket. While searching for their lunch, the trio wanders into the woods and finds a trail of bread crumbs that leads them to the requisite house made of sweets. This house is actually a fighting “mecha gingerbread house” operated by a nefarious purple witch. After that battle quickly resolves, they soon encounter a fearsome gang of the witch’s ninja gingerbread men (amusingly called the ninja bread men), whose “can’t catch me” taunt will also be familiar to young readers’ ears. Torres and Dove rely almost exclusively on manic action and feverishly candy-colored illustrations to propel silly, insubstantial plotting. Puns reign supreme, and every opportunity to insert “bro-” into a word or crack a joke is seized, causing the narrative to skate a fine line between delight and tedium. A crowd scene shows a woman in a hijab with her navel showing; while fleeting, the image is indicative of a certain cultural tone-deafness. For those unfamiliar with the series, this is a fine jumping-in point, however, the three robots’ names aren’t explicitly provided until the final pages, creating a disconnect for new readers.
Optional. (Graphic fantasy. 5-10)