A little boy, endearingly rendered as a stick figure, wishes for a robot to land in his backyard.
Well, what kid wouldn’t, even if the kid didn’t have a head the shape and brightness of a full moon, a postage stamp for a body, sticks for limbs and a goofy smile a yard long? Every time he sees a jet in the sky or a shooting star, he hopes it is bringing him a robot, “going ‘beep, beep, beep’ as he takes me on an adventure.” One appears, of course, adding more cubic yardage to the boy’s smile. The robot is physically impressive—gargantuan in that robotic way, painted a red so saturated it feels wet—but short on the grand-adventure front. He can’t fly or swim, though he can go “beep,” and he can help the little moonhead build his treehouse. Together, they hammer and paint, and the robot is strong, holding up support beams as well as his new friend—wherein lies the point: You don’t have to be with a superhero to have a magical time. Brown sends the message easily, not hammering it home like one of the treehouse’s boards but allowing it to be organic to the story. And his artwork, with its chalky lines brokenly etched in the planes of big color, calls up that sense of surprise.
A smart take on the strangeness of friendship. (Picture book. 3-5)