Seven-year-old Ben loves pretending to be a robot, but his best friend Jessy is tired of being ordered to oil his knee joints and check his batteries. She says the robot game is boring and runs off to play with someone else. So Ben decides to build a real robot instead. He's built all kinds of things before: wind generators, solar-powered marble launchers, pinball machines. But none of his creations have ever really worked. Until now. When his robot begins talking, Ben is thrilled. However, nothing goes quite the...
Seven-year-old Ben loves pretending to be a robot, but his best friend Jessy is tired of being ordered to oil his knee joints and check his batteries. She says the robot game is boring and runs off to play with someone else. So Ben decides to build a real robot instead. He's built all kinds of things before: wind generators, solar-powered marble launchers, pinball machines. But none of his creations have ever really worked. Until now. When his robot begins talking, Ben is thrilled. However, nothing goes quite the way he thinks it will. Ben's robot is rather difficult to get along with. He complains a lot. He's bossy. He never wants to do anything Ben suggests. Having a real robot isn't nearly as much fun as Ben thought it would be. And to make things worse, no one -- not even Jessy -- will believe him.
"Stevenson, whose son inspired this story, certainly knows the heart of children like Ben and can communicate the fun and frustrations of learning…This delightful story, which tells the tale of an adventurous little boy, will keep young readers flipping the pages to see what will happen next. Highly Recommended."
"A story which will be enjoyed by both male and female audiences, Ben's Robot highlights the challenges of friendship, play, imagination, and sharing…This is a humourous, imaginative and creative story that will hook reader and imagination alike. Highly recommended."
Canadian Children's Book News
"Within a simple story, Robin Stevenson subtly weaves the elements of imagination, friendship and loneliness, along with a bit of mystery and magic. With just a few details, she fills out Ben's personality...Parkins' fine illustrations are fun and move the story along easily for the new reader. His googly-eyed robot is a gem."
Puget Sound Council
"A great additional purchase as an early chapter book, with accessible text and decent plot. Illustrations are charming."
- Sylvia Firth
Chapter books for newly independent readers are always in demand and this title from the "Orca Series" will be especially appealing to boys that find reading a chore. Ben is seven and loves to pretend that he is a robot. His friend Jessy often plays with him. She becomes the control operator as well as the one to oil his knees and elbows when they begin to squeak. One day at recess Jessy wants them to play with others in the sandbox. When Ben refuses, she goes off and leaves Ben by himself. He is angry but after finding a circuit board on the way home from school, Ben decides to build his own robot. He names it Robot KX749. To his astonishment it can move and speak, but only to him. Most of the time KX is grouchy and no matter how much Ben begs, it will not move or speak to his mother or Jessy. Ben and Jessy quarrel when she prefers to go and have a snack in the kitchen and he wants to give KX mitten hands and roller skate feet. At his mother's insistence, Ben apologizes and joins Jessy for homemade cookies. When baby sister Stella speaks her first words, it leads to the discovery that KX is gone. The pen and ink illustrations bring life to the story The children are very realistic and the character of KX with his turned down mouth, metal bowl head, steel pipe arms and legs and wooden body is just right. Add this to the purchase list. Reviewer: Sylvia Firth
Robin Stevenson is the author of ten books for children and young adults. Robin has also worked as a social worker, counselor and university instructor. She enjoys reading, traveling, visiting schools and talking to people of all ages about books and writing. Robin lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with her family.
Ben ran over to the bike rack. "Jessy, guess what?" Jessy waved goodbye to her dad and turned to lock up her bike. "What?" She took off her helmet and smiled at him. "You know my robot I've been building?" "Of course." Jessy looked interested. "Well..." Ben looked around to make sure no one was listening. He spoke in a whisper. "I know this sounds crazy, but it really works."