Two robot buddies struggle to share a remote-control car.
Standroid and Dandroid, a pair of robots constructed from lightly detailed simple shapes, one in fuchsia and one in gold, are “powered up” to play. At first, their individual games all mesh to create even better playtimes, as when one’s soap and the other’s water combine to make supercool bubbles, but a difficult-to-share remote-control car causes tension. For inanimate objects, the expressive motion lines and evocatively angled circular eyes against white background make the robots’ many emotions abundantly clear. They are never more so than when the increasingly jealous fuchsia robot (which is which is never entirely clear) declares that “sharing does not compute.” A tussle erupts, and the remote comes apart, revealing a “secret button” inside. Chagrined, they decide to press the button together, which starts a raucous laser show and “dance party.” It’s a feel-good ending for sure, but it’s also unsatisfying. Though the androids declare their decision to share, the phrase used—“Overriding self mode. / Initiating share sequence”—is bewilderingly confusing, and the two androids never actually model any sharing; rather it’s the improbable secret button that saves the day. Read aloud, the book achieves an appropriately robotic tone, but an overreliance on sophisticated tech words such as “sensors” and “activate” seems intended more for adult readers than the child audience.
The robot’s lively antics are amusing, but the story feels overly mechanical. (Board book. 1-3)