8/23/13

Boy + Bot, by Ame Dyckman (from the Reading is Fundamental STEAM collection), a science fiction picture book

A few days ago, a beautifully heavy box of books arrived  on my door step, containing the Reading is Fundamental STEAM collection-- a prize from June's 48 Hour Reading Challenge, to be donated to the institution of my choice (thank you RIF!).  It is a lovely, lovely, collection--if you click that link, you'll see the list of  forty beautiful children's books for grades K-5, focused on science, engineering, technology, arts and math, that RIF is working to get into the hands of schools and programs serving kids in need.   Unpacking the box took a while, because it was hard not to just sit and read each book as it emerged...

One that I couldn't resist reading immediately was Boy + BOT, by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino (Knopf Books for Young Readers, April 2012) .   It begins thus "A boy was collecting pinecones in his wagon when he met a robot."  The boy asks if the robot would like to play, and the robot answers in the affirmative.  But during their play, the robot's power switch gets bumped to off, and the boy thinks the robot is sick, so he takes BOT home for applesauce and bed rest...

When BOT's power switch gets bumped on again during the night, it sees the sleeping boy--and thinks he's malfunctioned!  Now it's BOT's turn to take the boy home for oil and a read-through of an instruction manual, and just as it's about to try a fresh battery on the boy, the inventor enters the story, and explains everything.

And as time passes and the seasons change (shown in smaller size illustrations), the friendship of the BOT and the boy stays a lovely thing.  The illustrations are simple yet satisfying, with enough detail to make for interesting looking, but not so much so as to overwhelm the story.

It's a beautiful about robots and friendship that will make kids laugh, and I recommend it tons and tons.  I really  appreciate that those who decided which books should make up this collection included this one--it is a solid introduction to the concept of robots and a great story all at the same time.  I am all in favor of teaching science through story, because that's how I learn best!

Most of the collection will go to my local library, which serves a relatively low-income neighborhood;  I will look in the city for a place to take those that are already in its collection.   But it might take a while for the books to reach their new homes, because I do want to spend a bit of time with them myself!

8 comments:

  1. This sounds really fun! I can see my niece and nephew liking it.

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    1. It just really is nice. Do try it on them!

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  2. This one looks great. I am a huge fan of Dan Yaccarino's illustrations.

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    1. I hadn't been aware of him before, but the pictures here are great.

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  3. Even the cover is so adorable, and I am giggling madly to imagine where the battery might have gone in the boy - remember licking batteries as a kid? Zing!

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    1. I have never licked a battery. Should I? Or has that ship sailed?

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  4. I read this book at the start of school this year. I was fortunate to borrow it from local library system. The children loved it...so did I. hope to purchase a copy for our school soon. Really cute story!

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  5. Oh I remember this when it came out.
    Sounds like an adorable picture book.

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