STARRED REVIEW
April 2016

A little robot’s adventure

By Peter Brown
Review by
Caldecott Honor winner Peter Brown has parlayed his offbeat humor and dark, angular illustrations into his first chapter book.
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Caldecott Honor winner Peter Brown has parlayed his offbeat humor and dark, angular illustrations into his first chapter book. 

From the moment shiny robot Roz emerges from a crate that has washed up on the shore of a remote island, both Roz and the island’s animal inhabitants will never be the same. It’s a mysterious beginning for Roz, who wonders where she is and why she’s there. Soon, she’s worried about fitting in and surviving among the island’s animals, who fear this ominous metal creature and don’t try to hide their hostility. 

Brown’s short, well-paced chapters vary in perspective—some in Roz’s voice, some in third-person omniscient, some addressing the reader directly. The prose and dialogue offer an eager invitation for readers to discover Roz’s experiences on the island: clunking away from angry bears, saving an orphaned gosling or building a warm communal nest for the animals. Roz eventually wins over the island creatures, securing her place in the community—until a clever denouement threatens their unusual utopia. 

Without being preachy, Brown hits on many timely topics—friendship, the environment, technology, cooperation and differences—in this absorbing but very readable book. This hi-lo (high interest/low reading level) novel is especially ideal for reluctant readers.

 

This article was originally published in the April 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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The Wild Robot

The Wild Robot

By Peter Brown
Little, Brown
ISBN 9780316381994

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