What do you do when you’re all alone? If you’re a robot, you make your own friends!
Readers begin this story in a landscape fit for Kenneth Grahame, but there are no toads or badgers in sight. Instead, they meet Little Robot, a short, round little fellow that resembles the cuddly offspring of L. Frank Baum’s Tik-Tok and a toaster. Little Robot is cheerful about his life and routine, so cheerful that every day he wakes up and sings a series of songs. When Little Robot has his breakfast, for instance, he croons: “Oats with oozy oil are yummy / slipping slowly down my tummy.” But although his life is peaceful, he feels a little lonely. What’s a robot to do? Thankfully, this robot has moxie (and a little imagination), so he decides to build himself a doggie friend. MacLachlan and Charest’s text practically screams to be read aloud, and their writing is only further enhanced by Phelan’s inviting watercolor illustrations. Subtle shifts in both the text and illustrations support readers: While the narration is written in black, Little Robot’s songs are written in green so no one will ever miss their cue to sing. Phelan’s art hints subtly at things to come, from Little Robot’s dog-shaped thought bubble of inspiration to the slow development of Little Dog himself.
A book to cherish for years to come. (Picture book. 4-6)