Perfect Picture Book Friday: BOY + BOT

Astute Creating Curious Kids readers know that I typically review nonfiction books each Friday. However, I was lucky enough to win a copy of Ame Dyckman’s first picture book, BOY + BOT, on Tara Lazar’s blog. After reading our new book to more than 20 children over a couple of days, I knew I had to review it for Perfect Picture Book Friday.
Title: BOY + BOT
Author: Ame Dyckman
Illustrator: Dan Yaccarino
Publication Info: Knopf Books for Young Readers, April 10, 2012
Intended audience: Ages 3 through 5
Genre: picture book
Themes/topics: friendship
Opening and synopsis: ”A boy was collecting pinecones in his wagon when he met a robot.
‘Hi!’ said the boy. ‘Want to play?’
The robot blinked. ‘Affirmative!’”
This is a tale of an unlikely friendship — boy and bot — and how they both care for each other in their own way. When bot’s power switch gets turned off, boy thinks he’s sick. When boy goes to sleep, bot thinks he’s ill. The boy feeds bot applesauce; the bot feed boy oil. The boy reads the bot a story book; bot reads the boy an instruction manual, and so on until both are healed.
Why I like this book: I recently read this book to a preschool class of both boys and girls, and both were captivated. This book’s brief text and bright illustrations –by none other than Dan Yaccarino — are perfect for story times or reading at home over and over again.
Resources: Have children imagine what they would do with a robot friend if they had one. What would they play? How would they make their robot friend feel better if he was sick? Using the story framework, older children could rewrite the story with their own words and images.
Making robots out of cardboard boxes is also fun, though you could also do it with a paper bag. Cut a slit up the center of the box or bag, so it opens like a vest. Cut holes for the head and arms. Decorate with dials, switches and gauges made of cardboard, crayons, marker, etc. You also can make mini recycled robots out of toilet paper rolls and pipe cleaners, which I described in our Earth Day post.
Every Friday bloggers review “Perfect Picture Books.” Find a complete list of book reviews organized by topic, genre and blogger at author Susanna Leonard Hill’s site.