cover image Snowbots


Aaron Reynolds, illus. by David Barneda, Knopf, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-375-85873-4

Combining two of kids' favorite things—snow and robots—Reynolds's highly inventive story features a robot family preparing for school ("Brush off fenders,/ shine and clean./ Cereal with gasoline"), only to discover that it's a snow day. Barneda's imaginative acrylics and colored pencil illustrations depict robots making snow angels, sledding, and eventually being frozen by "a crushing wind-chill factor" into ice cubes, to be towed home by their loving parents ("Robot kids? Refrigerated./ Robot parents? ACTIVATED!"). Reynolds creates a robot world ordinary enough that readers should easily relate, and the poetic form allows for some creative rhymes and details ("Surprises in the scenery/ send shocks to their machinery"). After warming up, the robot children are tucked into bed with a loving good night "Eskimo kiss on metal nose." Ages 5–8. (Oct.) Two new books take a close look at two American icons over the decades.