Without much of a story, this depends mainly on the concept of a little-boy robot, the built-in suspense of a race, and the strangeness of the different ""zones"" Sol-1 passes through as he competes with other robot children in the race. For ""human"" interest, Sol-1 has a robot sister, a robot dog, Big Rover, and a robot mother who scolds him about his untidy room. Because of the mess, Sol-1 misplaces his power pack and goes off to the race with Big Rover's instead. This slows him down, but his sister and the dog fly to his rescue in time to ensure his victory. Despite the minimal plot, Hoban's suggestive, softly colored space scenes please the eye, tempt the imagination, and evoke the moods each new zone or predicament calls for.