Once more into the night, when feckless parents leave their kid in the charge of defective robots.
Who are these parents anyway, and haven’t they read by now—or just scanned in a picture book—that you can’t trust robot babysitters? This old ground, so well-turned it has surrendered most of its nutrients, is visited again by Taylor with little new to offer except for Collins’ robots, which are ancient, modern and futuristic all rolled into one (or seven—the number of droids invented here). So the parents gaily skip out for the evening and entrust their little girl to a gang of robots they haven’t even unpacked. (Mum says, “They’re the latest models. What could possibly go wrong?” Right.) In often-clunky couplets, readers are taken through the ensuing chaos, which culminates with the robots zonked out in the parents’ bed, along with the parents. Serves them right. It’s playful enough, but the narrative skips along and never dives in—as it does in Jon Scieszka and David Shannon’s Robot Zot! (2009) or Timothy Bush’s Benjamin McFadden and the Robot Babysitter (1998)—leaving these robots without much personality.
Subpar. (Picture book. 4-9)