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ROBOT SMASH! by Stephen W. Martin


by Stephen W. Martin ; illustrated by Juan Carlos Solon

Pub Date: April 15th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-77147-067-4
Publisher: Owlkids Books

The title sums it up: This mechanical man is a total wrecking machine.

Anything is fair game for the spherical hands that carry out this automaton’s single-minded mission—petunias, toilets, Brussels sprouts and (presumably included for adults) “All-talk radio.” At the culmination of his rampage, scores flash on the page, as in a video game. Solon’s designs are intentionally pixelated, so that nearly every shape has a zigzag contour, appropriate for his subject. The look lends energy and a sense of movement to the robot as he crashes his way against solid, changing background colors. He is accompanied by a spare—but bold and exclamatory—text. (Warning: Repeated readings may lead to an enthusiastic young listener’s first spoken or sight word being “SMASH!”) The protagonist’s life changes when he catches sight of a gigantic, purple robot destroying skyscrapers and automobiles. It is love at first sight for the twosome: Her thought bubble displays the proverbial baby carriage; his depicts a shared meal. Although the method that “Super-SMASHY girl robot” chooses to show affection gives new meaning to the term “crush,” the two appear to be made for each other. They definitely have a lot in common.

With demand for STEM-themed books for toddlers at an all-time high, this will undoubtedly prove popular with both ends of its intended audience.

(Picture book. 2-5)