A heartwarming tale of a boy and his robot.
Young Franklin P. Shelley often asks his mother for a younger sibling; her response is always, "We'll see" (his father’s eyes pop in alarm behind his newspaper). Industrious Frank decides to take matters into his own hands and sets out to build one. Frank works hard at his drafting table on the plans, scours Byron's Scrap Metal for parts, and slowly but surely ("nut by bolt, sprocket by socket") puts Stan together. Frank charges up the battery, and the light in Stan's chest begins to glow: "Stan was ALIVE!" Mum and Dad find Stan a bit...different, but his household industry wins them over. One day, Mum surprises Frank with a cute baby girl, and the boy begins to spend more time with his sister, Mary, and less with Stan. One snowy evening, Stan leaves. It doesn't take long for him to freeze or for the family to miss him. A big hug convinces the big mechanical lug to return, which seems to please Mary most of all. The realism in Robertson's pen-and-watercolor illustrations highlights the mechanical paraphernalia even as it wordlessly tracks Mum’s expanding belly, adding a sci-fi dimension to this warm tale of family and friendship.
Appealing both to the eye and the heart, and even though children are unlikely to catch the literary references, their parents will chuckle over them. (Picture book. 5-8)