cover image Cosmo and the Robot

Cosmo and the Robot

Brian Pinkney, J. Brian Pinkney. Greenwillow Books, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-15940-5

This fanciful flight whisks readers to Mars, where a human boy lives with his parents and bossy older sister, Jewel. Cosmo is dismayed when his best friend, a robot named Rex, bumps his head and begins ""acting like a monster."" In compensation for having to dispose of Rex in the asteroid dump, his parents give Cosmo a Super Solar System Utility Belt containing 10 ""supersonic attachments"" with which the child dismantles several objects, including Jewel's Easy Bake oven. But the lad puts these tools to constructive use as well: with them he reassembles Rex and restores him to his former, friendly self. Pinkney's (The Adventures of Sparrowboy) trademark art, created on scratchboard with dyes and acrylic paints, presents a barren planet in the slightly kitschy tradition of '50s science fiction. Even with the outlandish plot and extraterrestrial setting, the author/artist lets ordinary family dynamics shine brightly. Ages 4-up. (Apr.)