Sometimes I Forget You’re a Robot

Sam Brown. Dial, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3825-6
It’s a dream come true when a huge red robot lands in a boy’s backyard. That elation sours when the boy discovers that the robot can’t fly to the moon or swim to the ocean floor. “All you do is ‘beep, beep, beep’ like a toy,” the boy grouses. A more meaningful friendship emerges, however, when the robot demonstrates its considerable construction talents by helping the boy build a certifiably super treehouse. Debut author Brown has a strong sense of color and composition, a powerful stylus line, and a thoughtful aesthetic that will be familiar to fans of his Web site, explodingdog.com. The boy, a sticklike figure with huge eyes and a gaping mouth, is all raw emotion and energy, while the robot, which is made up of several red boxes, offers a more grounded sense of the world. Brown can’t resist imparting a lesson to readers, but he has a light touch, and the message is a good one: when you value others for who they are, rather than who you want them to be, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Ages 3–5. Agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/23/2013
Release date: 10/17/2013
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