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Robot Zot! Hardcover – September 22, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 3—This book has everything that kids like: robots, heroics, humor, action, a little bit of destruction (inanimate objects only), and even a touch of romance. Robot Zot crashes into an alien environment (the suburbs), battles with fearsome kitchen appliances and a challenging transmitter (TV), and rescues the Queen of all Earth (a toy cell phone) before zooming off "to distant galaxies to bravely save more days." The text's rhythm is a bit odd, moving back and forth between prose and rhyme, but the short declarative sentences will make it approachable for early or reluctant readers, and the melodrama keeps it fun. Shannon's crazy, action-filled illustrations can be a little confusing, but also contain so much humor (including jokes that are absent from the text) that children will be happy to stick around and decode them. The bold, funny, over-the-top text and art are the perfect complement to one another. Seemingly inspired by sources such as Star Wars and Toy Story, the most important message of this lighthearted tale is that reading really is fun.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL END

About the Author

Jon Scieszka is the creator of Trucktown, including the New York Times bestselling Smash, Crash!, and the author of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, the Time Warp Trio series, Caldecott Honor Book The Stinky Cheese Man, and many other books that inspire kids to want to read. He has worked as an elementary school teacher and is the founder of GuysRead.com, a literacy initiative for boys.

David Shannon has written and illustrated numerous award winning picture books including Duck on a Bike, the Caldecott Honor Book No David!, How I Learned to be a Pirate, and Good Boy Fergus. He is also one of the collaborative illustrators in Jon Scieszka’s Trucktown series.  David lives with his wife and his daughter in Los Angeles.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 390L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 1St Edition edition (September 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416963944
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416963943
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

[DRUM ROLL.....] PRESENTING THE ONE AND ONLY JON SCIESZKA!

Jon Scieszka was born in Flint, Michigan on September 8th, 1954. He grew up with five brothers, has the same birthday as Peter Sellers and the Virgin Mary, and a sneaking suspicion that the characters in his Dick and Jane reader were not of this world. Those plain facts, plus his elementary school principal dad, Louis, his registered nurse mom, Shirley (who once took Jon's Cub Scout den on a field trip to the prenatal ward), Mad Magazine, four years of pre-med undergrad, "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show", an M.F.A. in Fiction from Columbia University, Robert Benchley, five years of painting apartments in New York City, his lovely wife Jeri Hansen who introduced him to Molly Leach and Lane Smith, Green Eggs and Ham, his teenage daughter Casey and almost teenage son Jake, ten years of teaching a little bit of everything from first grade to eighth grade, and the last twenty years of living in Brooklyn...are just some of Jon's answers to the questions, "Where do you get your ideas?" and/or "How did you become a writer?" I don't know, just because, none of your beeswax, and flapdoodle poppycock and balderdash are some more of Jon's answers to questions you can imagine on your own. Jon met up with Lane Smith around 1986 or so, and nothing has been the same since. Their first book, the wiseguy fairy tale retelling, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! was initially rejected by most publishers as "too weird" and "too sophisticated". Published by Viking in 1989, The True Story has now sold over a million copies, been translated into ten languages, and been called a "classic picture book for all ages". Jon and Lane's The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (1992) took the world of the picture book a few steps further. Goofing with the conventions of fairy tales and even being a book, The Stinky Cheese Man became a household word, sold another mess of copies in multiple languages, offended a few purists, and still managed to win a Caldecott Honor medal. Math Curse (1995) further stretched the notion of what subjects make good picture books, selling more books faster than either 3 Little Pigs or Stinky Cheese, and winning a whole slew of awards --all for a book full of mathematics.More recently, Jon and Lane have resurrected fables (in the smart, funny, and a little bit wicked way Aesop would have wanted them) in their latest collaboration, Squids Will Be Squids (1998). No telling where they might take the picture book next. Someone once wrote, "Jon Scieszka has forever changed the face of children's literature." And while there is still some confusion over exactly who that someone was, and whether children's literature does, in fact, have a face, most would agree-from The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! to Squids Will Be Squids, since Scieszka put pen to paper, children's literature sure has been...different.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Fred and Ginger. Abbott and Costello. Cheech and Chong. Famous pairings have flourished throughout history, and it's a proud person who can put their finger down and say, "I was there when it started. I remember the beginning." So as you sit in your comfy little chairs surfing the web, take a moment in breathe deeply and commit to memory this moment in history. When Jon Scieszka and David Shannon made a picture book together at last. Oh, I know they've worked together before. But the Trucktown series, while sure to ably subdue any truck obsessed ankle biter you encounter, is the work not just of Scieszka and Shannon but a host of other talented fellas as well. So I've always kind of suspected that if you separated Shannon and Scieszka from the pack and isolated them for a specific amount of time they might, just might, be able to come up with something really cool. Enter Robot Zot. He's brave. He's determined. He fits snugly in the palm of your hand and he's about mark the first instance of a Shannon/Scieszka solo pairing. Can you feel the love?

The heart of a lion. The eloquence of a Tarzan. The body of a mildly rusted cell phone. "Robot Zot - Wham Bot! Robot Zot - Bam Bot!" Robot Zot has come to earth and he is intent upon invading. "No one stop Robot Zot. Robot Zot crush lot." That's how he talks. After crash landing in a backyard, by the time Zot's standing in the kitchen with his phaser in hand it's pretty clear that he's not much bigger than a dustpan. And around every corner lurk enemies. Dispatching the appliances and television one by one ("He is glorious. He stands victorious.") Zot meets a small cell phone toy that, by his reckoning, is clearly The Queen of All Earth.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patent Mom on September 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Other reviewers have gotten the plot summary pretty well, so let me just say, this is a great book for any kid who likes silly things and pretending to bash things (i.e., any boy ages 4 and up). My 5 year old son and 3 1/2 year old daughter want to hear this over and over, and he actually can read the simpler sentences. They also appreciate and giggle endlessly over the absurdities in the pictures, especially the ones where you see how tiny robot Zot is as he strolls through the kitchen (he's not much higher than a dog dish). The pictures are what really makes the story (although the lines are even funny by themselves: "Zot is not joking. Zot is never joking" "What is Zot? Chicken Bot?" "Zot says what he has never said"). My kids love seeing how Zot thinks the toaster, coffeemaker, etc., are enemies to be destroyed . . . and how the owner comes down all confused to see his toaster smoking, and how the dog gets blamed in the end. It reminds them of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 1, when he arrives and does not understand what the toys are, the room is, etc. Great fun!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on July 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I'm a read aloud Mom with a family of boys. This book was very fun -- we're in a Robot Mode right now, for some reason. The Robot says many rhyming things, but Great does not rhyme with Eat around here.

Fun story, but we all felt so sad for the poor doggy at the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Kennedy on November 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover
We hate this book. It's annoying, the story line is only moderately cute, and a child can't follow the robotic monologue which, while "robotic", is painful to read. I get the Don Quixote thing...kinda cute. But I just can't stand this book.
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By Erin Johnson on January 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a fun story to read aloud. You could do a lot with the Robot Zot voice. Robot Zot is on a mission to defeat the Earth Army. He does a lot of damage, but then he meets his Queen. He also has to rescue her, which was awesome as her guards really do look awfully fearsome! (And no, you won't get that until you read the book and see the pictures!)

I think Robot Zot is highly entertaining and will be enjoyed by young and old, and fans and non-fans of robots. My favorite parts are the illustrations when Robot Zots Best Pal Bot is in the picture. He/she never speaks but is utterly adorable! He/she reminds me of Gary from Spongebob Squarepants, except he's/she's a robot. The Earth's most fearsome Commander General is also not to be missed.

Although this book is fun and lighthearted, it gives a great glimpse into how we perceive those around us. Let's just say Robot Zot may not be taking on the most terrifying foes, but they could do some damage...

Notes on the Cover:
I love that Robot's coming out of an `O' on the middle of the cover, that the cover is orange (ORANGE!), and that `Robot' is in a metallic-like color with the rivets(?) showing where its put together. However, I had no idea that the title was Robot Zot and not just Robot until I opened the book. For some reason, I think the Zot part is hard to see, like it gets lost in the shuffle of the rest of the cover.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angela Gerber on January 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very cute book (great graphics) but the story is lacking and it didn't hold the attention of my 5 yr old (Kindergartener). I recommend for preschool age children no more than 4.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By gypsy-spirit mother VINE VOICE on February 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
it's a book my children enjoy having read to them since they are 4 and 2. They like the pictures, they like the concept, they like the funny voices. It's definitely fun for me too.
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