cover image Love, Z

Love, Z

Jessie Sima. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4814-9677-3

Z, a robot with a boxy head, pincer arms, and kind, yellow eyes, discovers a message in a bottle that’s “too smudgy to read,” but ends, “Love, Beatrice.” The robot seeks out the meaning of the two words, but the robots in its family cannot compute its meaning. With a paper hat atop its head and a bindle over one shoulder, Z journeys via cat-helmed boat through a narrow waterway, meeting a beaver, a turtle, and a crow feeding its chicks: “Love is sharing your food, even when it’s delicious,” the crow says. A friendly baker shares her definition of love, and children on a playground have their own ideas: “Love is lawn gnomes!” and “Love is wishing on a star!” The varying definitions don’t add up for Z, who worries about understanding love’s meaning. Characteristic illustrations by Sima (Not Quite Narwhal) playfully juxtapose friendly, angular robot characters with sunny meadows and cozy residences. Love, the robot finally learns, can be many different things—and sometimes it’s closer to home than one realizes. Ages 4–8. [em](Dec.) [/em]