The Robot and the Bluebird

( 3 )

Overview

“Let me carry you,” said the Robot.

“I’ll carry you in my heart, and shelter you from the cold and storms.”

High atop a pile of rubbish sits a lonely Robot with a broken heart. Then one winter’s day, a Bluebird appears, fighting against the freezing wind. When the Robot offers her a home in the empty space where his heart used to be, neither of them can predict what astonishing things will happen. Together the...

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Overview

“Let me carry you,” said the Robot.

“I’ll carry you in my heart, and shelter you from the cold and storms.”

High atop a pile of rubbish sits a lonely Robot with a broken heart. Then one winter’s day, a Bluebird appears, fighting against the freezing wind. When the Robot offers her a home in the empty space where his heart used to be, neither of them can predict what astonishing things will happen. Together the newfound friends set off on a memorable journey that will change them both.

This fable-like tale, bursting with bright, winsome illustrations, is a fresh take on the timeless themes of friendship and second chances.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This book’s genuine sweetness will easily win over readers.” —Starred, Publishers Weekly

“Lucas uses color effectively to reflect the protagonist’s emotions, with black and whites giving way to color washes.”—School Library Journal

“Lucas, a master at quirky and imaginative premises, gives us one of his finest books in this touching, perfectly simple tale about true devotion.” —Rocky Mountain News

“This is an adorable book!” —SacramentoBook Review

“Readers own hearts will soar after reading this story of true devotion.” —Rocky Mountain News

“Lucas produces his most meditative work to date . . . A quiet beauty permeates this old-fashioned story.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Colorful, folk-art birds on the endpapers draw readers into this fairy-tale-like story.”—Booklist

Publishers Weekly

A Tin Man-like robot with a broken heart finds purpose in one of two books this fall by Lucas (Halibut Jackson) to feature an ingenuous creature navigating an uncertain world (the other is Candlewick's Peanut, about a confused monkey). In a depersonalized factory, working robots attempt to fix what remains of the central character's heart-two springs and an open door-before sending him to the scrap heap with "all the other old machines." When snow falls, a bluebird lands on his shoulder, and the robot builds her a nest in the space where his heart used to be. Rejuvenated, the robot carries the bluebird south across industrial wastelands to rejoin her multicolored flock. In characteristically elaborate, warmly lit illustrations, Lucas uses sharp geometrical forms as the basis for his urban scenes; against this backdrop, the bird's more organic form is a welcome contrast. Even with a corny line or two, this book's genuine sweetness will easily win over readers.Ages 4-up. (Nov.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Even a robot can have a broken heart. Our hero, who has been rusting away on a scrap heap of old machines, offers the space where his heart used to be to a cold, exhausted Bluebird. The next morning, the Robot rejoices at the sound of singing in his "heart." The Bluebird can't remain in the winter cold, yet she hasn't the strength to fly south. The Robot offers to carry her in his heart, through the cold, mountains, blizzards and fog. He gets tired, but finally reaches the place where the sun shines. There, the Bluebird thanks him. At the end of his strength, he offers her a home "in my heart." And there she lives, "always." And there he stays, "home every year to singing birds." The visual allegory reinforces the power of friendship and self-sacrifice to overcome loneliness. The colored line drawings depict a mechanistic world, focusing on a robot reminiscent of the gentle but misunderstood creation of Dr. Frankenstein. Indeed, the illustration on the cover of the mechanical man, rusty red with a block-like head and bent tubular fingers holding the tiny bird, may at first be off-putting. But the display on the endpapers of dozens of colorful assorted, almost-comic birds, reassures us of the ultimate happy message. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3

"There once was a Robot with a broken heart," begins this metaphorical story that's likely to appeal more to adults than to children. The other robots cannot fix him, so he ends up on the junk heap. A tired, shivering Bluebird (of happiness, perhaps?) comes along, prompting the Robot to shelter her and carry her South, until he breaks down. Respecting the Robot's dying request, the Bluebird makes a nest in his heart, "And the Robot stands there still...home every year to singing birds." Lucas's complex, fantastical illustrations are full of little details that will attract readers' attention. The Robot's home and junk heap are satisfyingly mechanical and futuristic-looking, and the passage of time is effectively portrayed through a series of four panels of the Robot in day, night, rain, and snow. The layout sustains interest through variety, including insets, full-bleed spreads, and the varying use of panels. Lucas uses color effectively to reflect the protagonist's emotions, with black and whites giving way to color washes after the bird's arrival. The economical text reads smoothly. Unfortunately, the message is heavy-handed and unlikely to speak to children. The lovely illustrations notwithstanding, most libraries can pass.-Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374363307
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 620,770
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

DAVID LUCAS studied illustration at the Royal College of Art in London, England. He has written and illustrated several picture books, including Halibut Jackson, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 12, 2012

    I love this book! The text is simple without being sparse and t

    I love this book! The text is simple without being sparse and the book is not long. The quiet beauty and sadness, and eventually the bittersweet joy, of the illustrations could carry the book without the text. The selfless robot with a broken heart and the eternally grateful bluebird will likely break your heart, and lift up your spirits.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent story !

    I bought this for my grandson (5) who loves robots and was completely surprised by the beauty of the story and the lesson to be learned.
    It is to a book that I will buy for others (grandchildren) in the future. A must have for the childrens' library.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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