Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover

Cece Bell, Author, Cece Bell, Illustrator
Cece Bell. Candlewick, $14.99 (56p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5475-7
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Meet the newest odd couple in the early reader section: fussy, compulsive Rabbit and overly logical Robot. The book’s four chapters, written almost entirely in dialogue, correspond to the plan for the friends’ eagerly anticipated sleepover: make pizza, watch TV, play Go Fish, go to bed. But it’s a list Rabbit generated without consulting his friend, so negotiations—delicate and otherwise—are the order of the day. The uni-wheeled, iPhone–shaped Robot wants to play Old Maid in addition to Go Fish; Rabbit insists it’s “not on the list.” Robot doesn’t like the veggies that Rabbit offers as pizza toppings, and insists on taking apart Rabbit’s furniture to get his favorite topping, nuts and bolts. But while Rabbit’s hair-trigger temper and Robot’s Vulcan mien seem like a recipe for disaster, each strong personality is willing to bend just enough—and even indulge in some comic self-reflection. Bell’s (Itty Bitty) crisp, cheery cartooning adds visual punctuation and elaboration in all the right places, and she handles moments of both calamity and reconciliation with aplomb. Delightful. Ages 5–8. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Sept.)
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