Many thanks to Gina Gagliano at First Second Books for sending us an early review copy of the book and providing one for a reader to win in our giveaway.
Little Robot by Ben Hatke
When a little girl finds an adorable robot in the woods, she presses a button and accidentally activates him for the first time. Now, she finally has a friend. But the big, bad robots are coming to collect the little guy for nefarious purposes, and it’s all up to a five-year-old armed only with a wrench and a fierce loyalty to her mechanical friend to save the day!
#1 New York Times Bestselling author Ben Hatke brings his signature sweetness to a simple, moving story about friendship and overcoming fears that will appeal to readers of all ages.
The protagonist of Little Robot is an adorable little girl who looks on as other kids wait for the school bus, even though she’s headed in another direction. After some brief playtime on a neighbor’s swingset, she goes wandering in a junkyard. With her curly black hair, brown skin, and nothing but a white nightshirt on, the girl is a vision as she explores the hidden treasures the junkyard has to offer. On this particular day, however, she finds box with a robot inside it. The robot seems in need of fixing, and so is born a unique friendship between a tinkering girl and a lost robot.
Hatke’s story is easy to digest for even early readers, since there isn’t much text, and usually the text is onomatopoeia to make reading aloud even more fun. The images are colorful and full of the wonder the robot experiences as the girl shows him around her world — particularly the woods and the junkyard. She’s plucky, this girl, with her wrench ready to fix and create and foster a robot community. It’s such a pleasure to see her want to rescue the robot from the big henchbot sent to retrieve it.
My 10-year-old daughter said the story reminded her of both “WALL-E” and also “Lilo & Stitch.” But instead of Barbra Streisand and a plant or Elvis and Ohana, it’s a wrench and a hug and the girl’s curiosity that stand out, because her desire for friendship is that strong. My daughter also loved the panel with the chorus from Toto’s “Africa” and was particularly excited to see a girl who could use her hands and “fix stuff,” since that’s something “boys are shown doing more often than girls.”
My 7-year-old son was drawn to the humor and the sounds and the quirky way the robot figures out the world. He said it was “funny and sweet.”
As for my 13-year-old, he said: “I’ll read whatever Ben Hatke draws.” Succinct and smart, that boy.
More about Ben Hatke:
Ben Hatke’s first graphic novel was Zita the Spacegirl. He has published comics stories in the Flight series as well as Flight Explorer. In addition to writing and drawing comics, he also paints in the naturalist tradition and, occasionally, performs one-man fire shows. Hatke lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and their boisterous pack of daughters: Angelica, Zita, Julia, and Ronia. Follow Ben on his blog | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr.
It’s really simple. Just leave a comment here, on Facebook, or on Twitter, telling us why you’d like to win a copy of Ben Hatke’s latest graphic novel. Must have a valid U.S. address to win. I will pick a random winner on Sept. 15th, and the winner must respond within 48 hours with their valid mailing address, so First Second Books can send them a hardcover of Little Robot.
Blog Tour Stops:
Read Now Sleep Later, 8/31 http://www.readnowsleeplater.org/
Teen Lit Rocks, 9/1 http://teenlitrocks.com/
Cherry Blossoms and Maple Syrup, 9/2 https://innocencewalker.wordpress.com/
Bibliophilia, Please, 9/3 http://www.bibliophiliaplease.com/
The Book Monsters, 9/4 http://thebookmonsters.com/
Fly to Fiction, 9/5 http://flytofiction.blogspot.com/
Bumbles & Fairy Tales, 9/6 http://bumblesandfairytales.blogspot.com/
Stacked Books, 9/7 http://stackedbooks.org/
Ex Libris Kate, 9/8 http://exlibriskate.com/
The Book Rat, 9/9 http://www.thebookrat.com/
Working for the Mandroid, 9/10 http://www.workingforthemandroid.com/
Heise Reads, 9/11 http://www.heisereads.com/
The Hiding Spot, 9/12 http://thehidingspot.blogspot.com/
Fleen, 9/13 http://fleen.com/
Cuddlebuggery, 9/14 http://cuddlebuggery.com/