As Baby gears up for his first words, my husband and I are having a friendly contest over whether he will say “Mama” or “Papa” first. (For the record, Monkey said “Mama” first, but it was only because he was mad at me!)
Honestly, though, I think Baby’s first words will be some version of “I. Am. Robot!” since this is how Monkey greets his little brother several times a day.
Monkey is obsessed with robots and has an uncanny ability to find them everywhere. “That’s a toothpaste robot!” he says of the tube of toothpaste. “I’m a mixing robot!” he says as he stirs the batter. “Hi, Daddy Robot!” he says when my husband comes home from work.
So, attentive mother that I am, I searched for some fun robot books for him at the library and was pleased to find several that Monkey and I have really enjoyed. Hope you and your little robots do, too!
Sleepy Time Olie by William Joyce is a sweet story about a robot determined to cheer up his grandfather, who seems to be going through some sort of existential crisis after bumping his head. (“I can’t unfrown…I might as well just stay in bed.”) Olie wants to bring back the pep in Pappy’s step, so he invents a super silly ray guaranteed to keep everyone laughing.
I love the quirky rhyming text, but Monkey’s favorite part are the illustrations. There is such rich detail here, especially for a little boy obsessed with robots. Every piece of furniture in Olie’s house is a robot – from the clocks to the beds to the dressers – along with the dog, of course – so readers can spend lots of time poring over the pictures and finding even more robots to love.
Hello, Robots by Bob Staake is another fun, silly book about robots. Zip and Blip, Blink and Zinc are all hard-working robots who glory in their jobs, until a fateful rainstorm messes with their wiring. Suddenly, the robots confuse their tasks, so that one robot tries to cook a clock while another tries to fix the soup with a screwdriver. The robots are all sad until they come up with the unorthodox solution of switching heads. Does it work?? You’ll have to read it to find out!
The illustrations are wonderful, and the text fun to read. This was another book that Monkey insisted we read over and over, and I was only too happy to oblige.
Cosmo and the Robot by Brian Pinkney is a wonderful book about a boy who lives on Mars with his family and his robot. When the robot malfunctions one day and turns into a menace, Cosmo has to figure out how to fix the robot before it captures Cosmo’s big sister. Monkey and I really enjoyed this book, though it is really aimed at slightly older kids. It would be an especially good book for those with older siblings, as this is a tale about a younger brother proving himself to his big sister. For Monkey, though, I edited the early scenes of Cosmo’s sister bossing him around, since I didn’t want to introduce the idea of siblings fighting.
Monkey loved how Cosmo rebuilt the robot, as well as the detail given about all of the tools on Cosmo’s amazing Solar System Utility Belt. And I loved having an African-American family at the center of this wonderful space book.
What books are you enjoying with your kids these days?