So begin the travails of the earnest and intrepid Robot protagonist of this playful picture book romp. After watching his boat sink into the sea, Robot–who is now more affectionately referred to as “Bot”–plants a tree, watches it grow and then chops it down to build himself a new boat. Alas, in the process he manages to ruffle the feathers of the crow who had happily settled himself in the tree and who now appears to be none too pleased as he watches Bot set sail in his new boat.
But Bot is not as oblivious to the crow’s feelings as it might seem. After his many highs and lows on the water, when he finally makes it to shore, he buys a present for crow and returns to make amends. Way to go, Bot!
This book features simple, sketchy line drawings with minimal use of colour that ably depict Bot’s sea-faring saga. Young readers will be able to easily follow Bot’s journe and will enjoy the spare but exuberant text that trips lightly and joyfully off the tongue. Sprightly and energetic, the lively wordplay is as fun for adults to read aloud as it is for little ones to savour. While the reference to Jacques Cousteau will be largely unappreciated (and baffling!) to the book’s intended audience, they will have endless fun poring over the pictures to determine what this unusual protagonist is up to and watching this story of friendship and adventure unfold visually.
MacIntyre Purcell Publishing