Chicken and"/>
 

Robot Dreams

Sara Varon, Author
Sara Varon, Author . Roaring Brook/First Second $16.95 (205p) ISBN 978-1-59643-108-9
Prebound-Other - 205 pages - 978-1-4177-8915-3
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Robots, ducks, melting snowmen and other mute creatures, all rendered in sweet and simple drawings, go through some very big, very human ordeals in Varon's (Chicken and Cat ) elegiac and lovely graphic novel about friendship. Dog buys a build-your-own-robot kit and assembles a new best friend for himself. But a day at the beach leaves Robot's joints rusted and immobile, and Dog is obliged to abandon him there. While Dog spends the next year trying to fill the hole in his life left by Robot—and assuage his guilt—Robot lies inert on the beach, dreaming of rescue and escape. Dog's episodic stories are particularly poignant in the way they mirror the human tendency to “try things out” in the hopes of meeting some emotional need; Robot is an avatar for all children who wonder why they aren't receiving the love they think they deserve. In a conclusion both powerful and original, Robot ends up reworked into a radio by a raccoon grateful for the music, and forgives Dog, even if Dog doesn't realize it; for once characters don't have to wind up back together to find happiness. Tender, funny and wise. Ages 8-up. (Aug.)

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