Robot Dreams (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

( 3 )

Overview

FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. The enduring friendship between a dog and a robot is portrayed in this wordless graphic novel.
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Overview

FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. The enduring friendship between a dog and a robot is portrayed in this wordless graphic novel.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Robots, ducks, melting snowmen and other mute creatures, all rendered in sweet and simple drawings, go through some very big, very human ordeals in Varon's (Chicken and Cat) elegiac and lovely graphic novel about friendship. Dog buys a build-your-own-robot kit and assembles a new best friend for himself. But a day at the beach leaves Robot's joints rusted and immobile, and Dog is obliged to abandon him there. While Dog spends the next year trying to fill the hole in his life left by Robot-and assuage his guilt-Robot lies inert on the beach, dreaming of rescue and escape. Dog's episodic stories are particularly poignant in the way they mirror the human tendency to "try things out" in the hopes of meeting some emotional need; Robot is an avatar for all children who wonder why they aren't receiving the love they think they deserve. In a conclusion both powerful and original, Robot ends up reworked into a radio by a raccoon grateful for the music, and forgives Dog, even if Dog doesn't realize it; for once characters don't have to wind up back together to find happiness. Tender, funny and wise. Ages 8-up. (Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature
A year goes by, month by month, in the life of our main character, a dog, and of the robot he orders by mail that at first becomes his companion and friend. No words of dialog or narration are employed, as the dog leaves the robot on the beach after an ill-advised swim and then is distressed to find the beach closed when he returns to rescue and repair it. As the months pass, the dog tries other friends that do or do not work out, while the robot dreams time away on the beach. He is then carted off to a junk yard, to be used in the creation of a friend for someone else. Meanwhile the dog, unable to locate his old robot friend, builds a new one he is more careful with. An odd connection is made at the end. Simple line drawings of cartoon-like anthropomorphic characters are tinted with flat color and presented in typical comic-strip boxes, three to six to a page, imaginatively designed. The relationships among the assorted characters take on human dimensions; we accept the dog-created snowman shivering with the cold until dressed in jacket and hat. Even the robot’s dreams, framed in wavy lines, seem possible. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Gr 3 Up
Dog wants a friend. Dog builds a robot. The two go to the library to get movies, and they make popcorn. They go to the beach, and the dog encourages the robot to play with him in the water. Robot is unable to move afterward because he has rusted stiff, and the dog finally leaves him there on his blanket on the sand. Seasons pass, and both Robot and Dog reflect on what happened, and both are changed because of this experience. The canine goes through a series of friendships that are unfulfilling in different ways: a duck goes south for the winter, a snowman melts, and the anteaters expect him to share their lunches. Meanwhile, the robot is lying on the beach, immobile but awake. He dreams of being rescued, of making new friends, of reuniting with Dog, of never having entered the water in the first place. While he dreams, his body is covered by sand and snow, is used for parts by scavengers, and even serves as a nesting place for a bird. This almost wordless (and dialogue-free) graphic novel is by turns funny and poignant. The cartoon artwork is clear and easy to understand. Varon uses a muted palette of earth tones with great skill. This book is like those board games that can be appreciated by anyone from 8 to 80. It is a quick read, but it will stay with readers long after they put it down.
—Andrea LipinskiCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
A wordless graphic novel provides a plangent meditation on the nature of friendship. When a dog buys a mail-order robot kit and puts it together, the two become fast friends. On an ill-fated trip to the beach salt water works its corrosive way on the robot, and the dog is forced to leave his immobilized friend lying on its towel on the sand. Their separate stories unfold over the next 11 months, as the dog makes an effort to repair his friend, only to discover the beach has closed, then turns to other friendships, while the robot lies suffering the ravages of weather and neglect and dreaming of friendships past and possible. Varon's muted blues, grays and browns set the emotional tone for this tale, angularly regular hand-framed panels that only rarely vary with frameless images serving to emphasize the emotional confinement of her protagonists. The resolution is psychologically ambiguous, denying readers the satisfaction of a happy reunion but offering them the harder-edged truth that friendships change and die-but others can rise in their place. Witty and plaintive by turns, this is thoughtful, provocative pleasure. (Graphic novel. 8-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781417789153
  • Publisher: Demco Media
  • Publication date: 8/28/2007
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY
  • Pages: 205
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Sara Varon is one of the rising stars in the indy comics scene: her simple, moving and instantly endearing artwork touches people?s hearts. Her previous projects include the graphic novel Sweaterweather and the picture book Chicken and Cat (a 2006 Parent's Choice silver honor award winner). Originally from outside Chicago, Sara now resides in Brooklyn, where she likes to ride her bike, see movies, and hang out with dogs.

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Customer Reviews

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