ROBOT DOG by Mark Oliver


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 7
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Twee tale of damaged mechanical doggies finding their bliss—or satirical religious allegory? This import reads either way with equal ease. Punched out on an assembly line, #2304 is so eager to have an owner—“ . . . because all dogs, even robot dogs, want an owner”—that he leaps up prematurely, and breaks an ear. Instantly dubbed “Scrap,” he’s tossed down a chute to a junkyard, where he meets a happy assortment of other reject metal puppies who decide that if they can’t get an owner the usual way, they’ll make one of their own. All rounded edges, rivets and squared-off heads, Oliver’s painted pups, including Scrap, on the cover in a plastic-covered, die-cut frame, are super cute—as is the awkward new “owner,” cobbled together from miscellaneous broken toys, appliances and a small golden heart, who “played with them and loved them and cared for them.” Like Chris Raschka’s Arlene Sardine (1998), the meaning here definitely depends on the reader. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-56148-489-X
Page count: 28pp
Publisher: Good Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2005


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