cover image Clink


Kelly DiPucchio, illus. by Matthew Myers, HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-192928-1

Though this is his picture book debut, illustrator Myers's vision of the robot Clink's world is fully developed. It's a place where toy stores sell shiny, talented robots who do homework and make chocolate chip cookies, while the chunky outdated robot Clink—much cuter than the others, of course, with a toaster head and blocky red feet—only plays music and makes toast. Kids line up for the cookie-making robots and wave lonely Clink's burnt toast away: "He hadn't been programmed to cry, but somehow he leaked rusty tears every time." Finally, a boy named Milton appears, who "likes burned toast, is great at fixing things, and... loves to dance." DiPucchio's (Grace for President) text percolates with plenty of humor, and the inevitability of the plot provides security for smaller readers. Myers has a wonderful time drawing gems like the victim of Clink's disastrous haircuts (the unfortunate girl looks like a trimmed hedge) and the polka-dot underpants a fellow robot offers to Clink as consolation. Extra marks for the distinctive combination of geek elements with a dash of sentimentality. Ages 4–7. (Apr.)