Friday, October 12, 2012

BOY + BOT by Ame Dyckman Book Review - Make Your own LEGO Bot Character

I've traipsed through many a wood and have collected my share of pinecones, but never, never on any of my adventures have I come across a friendly, mechanized, working robot.  I must be walking through the wrong kind of woods, because in Ame Dyckman's picture book world this scenario is entirely possible.

Simply and perfectly told with bold, eye-pleasing illustrations by robot-lover Dan Yaccarino, BOY + BOT is quite possibly the best robot picture book we've ever read (and believe me, we've read several).  The story-line goes like this: Boy walks through the woods.  Boy meets a big, red robot.  Boy and robot problem-solve. Robot and boy become BFF.  Now obviously there's more to it than that, like for instance both boy and bot have similar "misunderstood malfunctions" and need fixing, but to say any more would spoil the fun.  Read the robot parts aloud in your best robot voice. Remark on all the fun things the robot and boy do together like swimming, apple-picking and rock-skipping.  And remember, little boys do not need oiling, and never, ever feed your robot applesauce.

This book deservedly received starred review from Kirkus, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly. Take our word for it (and theirs), if you have a young, robot-loving child, BOY + BOT is for them and worth purchasing.

Fun fact: If you look closely at the illustrations in BOY + BOT you'll discover one of Yaccarino's creative additions to the story -- a light-bulb shaped, one-eyed robot that Ame Dyckman calls "Watt."  Not surprisingly, illustrator Dan Yaccarino has a self-described "slight penchant for robots."  He is also the author/illustrator of another robot picture book, If I Had a Robot, a story about a boy who dreams about all the things he could or wouldn't have to do if he had a robot.  His robot illustrations have a retro, vintage look reminiscent of those tin wind-up robot toys from the past. 

Related links: 
Ame Dyckman - Author Website 
Dan Yaccarino - Illustrator Website
BOY + BOT by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino.  Alfred A. Knopf / Random House (April 2012); ISBN 9780375867569; 32 pages
Book Source: copy from our personal library

Sadly we have not discovered our own robot friend in the woods, so my son and I did the next best thing ... made our own robot out of LEGOs. Our LEGO collection is large and diverse enough to provide ample parts for robot building.   We have eyes, connecting parts to make arms that swing and plenty of multi-sized, red blocks.



My son insisted that our BOT robot have a power switch in the back. Pair the LEGO bot with a boy mini-figure and let the book play-acting begin!  



'"What's wrong?" the boy asked.  The robot did not answer. 
"Are you sick?" the boy asked.  The robot still did not answer.  
"I must help him," the boy said."'

I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)

4 comments:

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love your to retold the story. This looks like a really fun book.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Thank you for linking this post to Read.Explore.Learn. I will be sharing it on the Read.Explore.Learn Facebook page this morning.

Raising a Happy Child said...

I missed you online. The book looks fun, but your robot is adorable. You must have a lot of special Lego parts to make arms that way,

Jen said...

What an awesome post! This book looks great! I'll have to look for it for little man. :)