Robot Zombie Frankenstein!

Annette Simon. Candlewick, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5124-4
In Simon’s Mocking Birdies (Simply Read, 2005), two singing birds faced off against each other. In this outing, Simon uses brightly colored shapes, substantial creativity, and a photograph of cherry pie to construct a story of robotic one-upmanship. In the opening scene, two robots—one magenta, the other green with an orange necktie—stare at readers from against a white backdrop and introduce themselves: “Robot.” “Robot.” The green bot dashes off and returns as a “Robot Zombie!” (a chunk of its head is missing, ovals of red “blood” drip from its mouth), and the other promptly tops its adversary with a “robot zombie Frankenstein” costume, which adds a forehead scar, spiky toupee, and neck bolts. Matters escalate. “Robot zombie Frankenstein pirate superhero-in-disguise outer space invader CHEF!” the robots shout, barreling toward each other. The cumulative chaos of the robots’ costumes stands in humorous contrast to Simon’s narrative and visual discipline, as she pokes fun at the human desire to be #1 and acknowledges the “Where did that come from?” nature of in-the-moment creativity. Ages 4–8. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/12/2012
Release date: 04/24/2012
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