Boy and Bot

by Ame Dyckman, Illustrations by Dan Yaccarino

Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, April 10, 2012.
Picture Book, 32 pages.
ISBN: 0375867562
Ages 1 and up

Boy and Bot by Ame Dyckman

Boy meets Bot is a comical story about friendship. It opens the the door to understanding how to deal with the differences between good friends. Author Ame Dyckman leads us through a story of the friendship between a small boy and a small robot, called a bot. Written largely in a style of speech that a robot might use, we follow a simple story that shows a very important ingredient of friendship: understanding.

The boy is happily playing with the robot when an innocent roll down a hill accidentally causes a rock to turn off Bot's switch. The boy tries everything he can think of to help the robot come back to life, including feeding it applesauce and reading to it, but nothing works. Finally giving up, the boy goes to sleep. The robot is turned on when the boy's parents accidentally hit his switch when they look in on their sleeping boy. Now the robot thinks that the boy is malfunctioning, and takes him to his home where it tries reading an instruction manual, giving the boy oil, and locating a spare battery. The bot's inventor walks in and fixes the situation.

Following the author's lead, illustrator Dan Yaccarino creates a happy tousle-haired boy and an equally simple bot with a smile on its face. Pared down of excess details, the drawings of the characters in the story are told against equally simple backgrounds, with strong, bright colors. This style reinforces the lesson of this tale about friends who learn to appreciate each other's differences.

Boy and Bot will definitely become a favorite of the very young. They will love the humor of the tale and the vivid, simple illustrations that bring it alive.

--Sarah Reaves White

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