Teamwork + trial and error = a happy robot and an ear-splitting racket.
A curious fox starts the proceedings when it looks in a box and a robot head inside says, “Boooo.” In cumulative fashion, the Nosy Fox’s tinkering sets off a chain of events in which it is emulated by other creatures, such as a Wicked Witch who “flicked a switch,” a Crocodile who “turned the dial,” and a Blue Gnu who “twisted the screw.” With each modification the robot emits wilder and wackier sounds. Adults reading to large groups will get great mileage out of this uniquely mechanical medley, which cumulates on verso following each interaction: “Clang! Flash! Tippa-tappa! Ooh! Zap! Click! Bang! Boooo.” Finally nothing works, until a small white child arrives, armed with a skate key. The kid quickly takes charge, instructs the others what to do, and after a cacophony of clinking and clanking, a grateful, tearful robot takes its leave. Gentle rhymes add a great deal of pleasure to the reading, and most scan beautifully, though some American readers may stumble over “the Eager Beaver pulled the lever.” The conclusion too is not free from confusion. Was this reconstruction the point all along or a happy end product of these creatures’ collective curiosity? Ruzzier’s art, given free rein, offers no answers but enlivens the fiasco, unapologetically ratcheting up the chaos.
Satisfying robot high jinks. (Picture book. 4-6)