A lonely robot finds friends in this overworked tale.
Robomop is a diligent worker, yet he yearns to leave his job cleaning the basement bathroom. After several failed escape attempts, he becomes depressed until a new BIO-MORPHIC BELLEBOT CLEANERETTE arrives. So excited by the possibility of a friend, Robomop falls into the toilet and is trashed. Coincidentally, the window cleaner’s services are also rendered useless by the new cleanerette’s technology, so the human takes Robomop home to his family. All benefit: The house is clean, and Robomop finds companionship (even kindling a romance with the vacuum). Unfortunately, both text and illustrations labor to be humorous. First-person narration makes readers Robomop’s confidantes, but third-person may have made him more sympathetic. Rodriguez’s hand-printed aesthetic—a combination of woodblocked ink and digital media—recreate the idealistic vision of the future presented in WPA work. His Robomop is a Rolie Polie Olie of the 1950s done in a limited, mostly pastel palette. But for all the attractive colors and interesting shapework and printing style, some of the illustrations are lacking—perhaps because the most visually appealing elements are the people and lettering, rather than the robots.
Miscasting results in a missed mark. (Picture book. 3-6)