Monday, May 30, 2016

Little Robot (graphic novel) by Ben Hatke

Little Robot is a children's graphic novel.

I've opted not to include any read-alikes for this.

Review:

I recently cataloged this for the library where I work. I thought it looked cute, so I checked it out.

The story's pretty short: a little girl (we're never told her name) skips school and goes off to play on her own. A few hours earlier, a box fell out of a truck and landed in a river. The girl finds the box, opens it, and accidentally starts up the robot inside. The girl and robot have fun playing together, but their budding friendship is threatened by their differences (the little robot is aware that it's not human and wants to meet others like itself) and by the large and menacing robot that wants to take the little robot back to its factory.

There was only one moment in this that didn't sit well with me. At one point, the little girl, worried that the robot would leave her, locked it up. She did this so that she'd have time to try to create some friends for it and thereby convince it to stick around, but it was still a rotten thing for her to do to the robot she wanted to befriend.

It wasn't a deal-breaker for me, though, because of the way it was handled. The little robot got upset with the girl for what she'd done, and things didn't go nearly as well as she'd planned. And when she was faced with the same situation later on, she didn't make the same mistake, and things went better.

All in all, this was a cute story that managed to communicate a lot despite hardly having any text. The girl had guts and a good heart, even if her social skills needed a bit of work (which made sense, considering that she seemed to spend all or most of her time alone). The various robots were nice, and I loved the little fix-it bot as long as I didn't try to think to hard about what it could do. I was left with a lot of questions, but I did enjoy this overall.

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