Little Robot by Ben Hatke

Published by First Second          

Summary:  A little girl who likes to explore discovers a box containing a small robot floating down a stream.  Thanks to the first few pages, the reader knows this robot has fallen off a delivery truck.  The girl and robot become friends; although she’s young, the girl is a pretty good mechanic and helps the robot with a few issues.  She also tries to create some robot friends for him. Meanwhile, back at the factory, an alarm goes off when the robot is discovered missing, and a bigger, badder robot is sent in pursuit.  As the girl and her new friend learn the ups and downs of friendship, the mean robot is seen closing in.  Suspenseful chase scenes conclude with a positive resolution brought about by the girl’s ingenuity, mechanical skill, and caring.  The robots she has created celebrate with a loud dance party.  When the noise attracts the attention of a pair of children, the girl and her original robot friend escape into the woods together.  144 pages; grades 1-4.

Pros:  The beautiful artwork of this graphic novel tells most of the story (there are no words until page 27 and they are sparse after that).  Young children will enjoy making up their own tale, with just a little reading thrown in.  The smart, independent girl and funny, caring robot make an endearing pair.

Cons:  I didn’t really understand why the girl and the robot left the party at the end.  She seemed pretty unhappy at the possibility of contact with other humans.

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