How do the robot children of Clackentown spend snow days? They have supersonic snowball fights, make robot angels with wing nuts moving up and down, take hot oil baths to thaw out the joints, and receive eskimo kisses on metal noses at bedtime. Author Aaron Reynolds and illustrator David Barneda team up to tell a hilarious story about two favorite subjects?robots and snow days!
How do the robot children of Clackentown spend snow days? They have supersonic snowball fights, make robot angels with wing nuts moving up and down, take hot oil baths to thaw out the joints, and receive eskimo kisses on metal noses at bedtime.
Author Aaron Reynolds and illustrator David Barneda team up to tell a hilarious story about two favorite subjects—robots and snow days!
Combining two of kids' favorite things--snow and robots--Reynolds's highly inventive story features a robot family preparing for school ("Brush off fenders,/ shine and clean./ Cereal with gasoline"), only to discover that it's a snow day. Barneda's imaginative acrylics and colored pencil illustrations depict robots making snow angels, sledding, and eventually being frozen by "a crushing wind-chill factor" into ice cubes, to be towed home by their loving parents ("Robot kids? Refrigerated./ Robot parents? ACTIVATED!"). Reynolds creates a robot world ordinary enough that readers should easily relate, and the poetic form allows for some creative rhymes and details ("Surprises in the scenery/ send shocks to their machinery"). After warming up, the robot children are tucked into bed with a loving good night "Eskimo kiss on metal nose." Ages 5–8. (Oct.) Two new books take a close look at two American icons over the decades.
- Mary Hynes-Berry
Every child who loves to play in the first snow and/or is fascinated by robots will want this delightful account of how young robots react when they get snow day, thanks to a heavy snowfall in Clackentown. The adult readers are equally likely to delight in how Reynolds makes cliches robotic, such as when he has the robot children "rubbing rust out of their eyes" and having a healthy breakfast of cereal with gasoline. Later on the robot little ones warm up and scrub clean in oil baths and drift off to sleep after kisses on their metallic noses. Barneda's charming drawings put human faces on the Robot family along with very robotic appendages as one young Bot uses his claw to grasp her spoon while another hooks it to his power saw arm. The rhyming text avoids being sing-songy by moving between couplets and ABAC patterns. Altogether this is a delightful book for home or school libraries. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—It's a snow day and for the robot children, sledding, snow angels, and snowball fights are all on tap. Some of them stay out too long and freeze into ice cubes, only to be rescued by "metallic moms/and dads of chrome" who warm them up with "cocoa spiked with axle grease" and hot oil baths. Using bouncy rhyming text and a sure ear for machine talk, Reynolds will delight young robot fans with references to wiping sleep "rust" from eyes; eating cereal with gasoline, and losing remote controls. The acrylic and colored pencil artwork features an array of mechanical kids and household props and plug-ins. The cool, blue-tinged snow scenes contrast with the warm yellows and browns of the house interiors. Libraries with robot fans won't want to pass on this snowy fun.—Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI
When Clackentown wakes up to a "blizzard for the record books," school is canceled and all the little bots rush out to play, "remote control completely lost." The dry humor in Reynolds's rhyming verse comes out in both vocabulary (the robot children brush "fenders" instead of hair, the wind's "like a robot trash compactor") and situation (the kids make ice sculptures "thanks, in part, / to chainsaw hands," to warm up after their day of play they drink "cocoa spiked with axle grease"). Barneda provides a cast of mechanical characters in a variety of models; in addition to the chainsaw hands, some kids have caterpillar treads instead of feet, and the dog rolls on little wheels (though it's too bad the only identified girl is depicted, oh-so-predictably, as pink). This gearhead flight of fancy should have broad appeal. (Picture book. 3-6)
AARON REYNOLDS is the author of many acclaimed books for kids, including Chicks and Salsa,Superhero School, and the Joey Fly, Private Eye graphic novel series. Aaron collects robots and loves snow days, so Snowbots was a great smashup of these two wonderful things. He lives in Chicago with his family and a very large snowblower.
Visit Aaron on his Web site at www.aaron-reynolds.com.
DAVID BARNEDA is the illustrator of The Tickle Monster Is Coming! He loves drawing robots and making tracks on freshly fallen snow. He lives in sunny California, where people pay to have snow trucked in for birthday parties!
Visit David on his Web site at www.barneda.com.