cover image Robo-Sauce


Adam Rubin, illus. by Daniel Salmieri. Dial, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-525-42887-9

Is there an award for best gatefold ever? Then tell Rubin and Salmieri to get out their tuxes, because this book has the one to beat. Their premise is simple: a boy loves dressing up in a homemade robot costume and terrorizing his family (“robo-poke! robo-grab! robo-stomp!”). When the smooth-talking unseen narrator offers the kid a chance to become an actual robot by drinking the “Robo-Sauce” of the title, the boy can’t resist; he then uses the sauce to engineer a full-scale robot takeover, which includes the very book readers hold. A gatefold late in the story can be extended and wrapped all around the book’s façade, transforming it into a metallic, orange-accented “Robo-Book.” Grownups who hate fun may question the staying power—not to mention physical resilience—of the book’s novelty element. But rest assured that it’s a very funny story, too, as the narrator finds out that he’s inadvertently brought about a robot apocalypse. The Robo-Times’s critical assessment (as blurbed on the robo-story’s new back cover) says it best: “Beep Boop!” Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Oct.)