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Robobaby Kindle Edition
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|Age Level: 4 - 7||Grade Level: P - 3|
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From the Publisher
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Robobaby with David Wiesner
The three-time Caldecott Medalist shares the creative process behind his new book
I’ve always been fascinated by mechanical and industrial things, the workings of watches, locomotives, anything with gears. Robots—walking, talking machines!—are a part of this fascination, and my favorite robots were found on screen: Robby from Forbidden Planet, the mechanical Maria from Metropolis, Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still, and even Rosie from The Jetsons.
So it’s no surprise than when I created an app with multiple worlds, I was determined to include a robot world. Initially I drew domestic scenes of a robot family, but they didn’t end up factoring into the narrative. I kept thinking about them, though. I knew they had a story to tell. I decided they needed their own book.
When I started to think about a “robot book,” I first drew spare parts, then a big box of parts. Of course those parts would have to be assembled—but into what? Aha! This must be where robot babies come from! They are ordered from Robobaby Inc.
That led me to think about how adults always seem to need kids to show them how to use current technology. This introduced me to my young heroine, Cathode—AKA Cathy—who alone knows the correct way to assemble her newly delivered (so to speak) little brother.
In addition to Cathy, I had many different robot designs and I wanted a big cast. But the first ones to be created were the nuclear family: Cathode, along with Diode, her mother, and Lugnut, her father.
I begin in a sketchbook, making loose drawings to determine their basic shapes. Then I try to get a feel for their posture, how they move, and how they look from different angles. This process begins to reveal the personalities of the characters.
With the basic designs determined, I write the story. Many of my books are wordless, but some have text—Robobaby is one of those with text. But regardless of whether there is text or not, I write my stories in pictures first.
When the narrative is set, I begin to finalize the look of my characters. (The story often evolves as I refine the art.) I always make models of my characters for drawing and lighting reference, and Robobaby was no exception. I usually use a modeling compound, but since these characters are made of metal and have very geometric and symmetrical body parts, I decided to try a new approach to the models. I drew technical specs for them and had them 3D-printed in plastic. (My son knows how to use CAD and made the files that went to the printer. Thank goodness for kids—life imitates art!)
Here is the final painting and the image with text. This is where Cathode first meets her new baby brother—Flange!
About the Author
"Wiesner’s friendly robots, despite their clunky metal framework, infuse their twilit extraterrestrial world with warmth and mutual support, making this a convivial, if offbeat, addition to the new-baby-on-the-way collection." –The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- ASIN : B081TTXD8D
- Publisher : Clarion Books; Illustrated edition (September 1, 2020)
- Publication date : September 1, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 126192 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Not Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 32 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,578,608 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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My six year old enjoyed all the robot antics, and especially loved how all the adults are making mistakes—and it’s the kid robot who has to come to the rescue. (In one moment of sheer chaos, Flange lifts off with booster rockets that a helpful uncle adds to the original design; that was the favorite moment!) The one-eyed robot dog was another favorite character, and—in working on good storytelling and reading skills—my child had no trouble identifying the beginning problem, the middle action, and the end sequence, picking up examples of what was going on from both text and illustrations.
As an adult reader, I was reminded how easy it is to sink into Wiesner’s gorgeous illustrations. The world of the story is rich, and the differently designed robots all have a personal flare that gives them individuality beyond their clever names. The detail on the very first page, where the kit for the new baby is wrapped in the swaddling cloth common in American hospitals, is representative of the kind of attention that Wiesner gives every moment of the story. Cathode (nicknamed Cathy) is a fantastic protagonist, whose confidence in her abilities is not misplaced, and she absolutely proves herself to the adults. As a robot, her gender in the illustrations is ambiguous—we learn her pronouns later in the book—and I love that the tool-wielding problem-solver of the story identifies as female. (I also thank Wiesner for avoiding the awful trope of giving female characters eyelashes to identify their gender.) The speech-bubble text and sound effects are all easy to follow, and the sheer chaos when all the neighbor robots come to celebrate the baby’s “birth” is both familiar and exactly the kind of community moment I’ve missed in 2020, even with all the stress those moments cause.
This is a wonderful picture book for the budding engineers and robot lovers in your kid-circles, and highly enjoyable for adult readers, too!
The cuteness level in this book is through the roof! The story is so clever and original, and I adore all the funny characters. There's Uncle Manny who tries to help assemble the baby. The neighbor brings her little twins to meet the baby. And of course, Sprocket the dog will help big sister Cathy to save the day!
The world-building is brilliant and fun! It's interesting to see what sort of food a robot would bring to welcome a new baby (sludge cake and rust soup with toasted zinc). The robots call for tech support during a crisis, or call a robot doctor with a toolbox and screwdriver. It's so imaginative!
I love Cathy's character, and how she cuts through the chaos of the adults, and trusts herself and her own abilities and know-how. She goes on a mission to save that baby, and with her trusty dog Sprocket at her side, they defy the adults and Cathy becomes the hero of the hour.
I find it very interesting how the emotions of the robots are expressed in the illustrations. The emotion is in the expressions on their metal faces and the way they hold their robot arms and how they stand with sassy robot posture. You can feel the action and energy on each page!
I just adore the colorful artwork and the way the book is organized in panels that lead the reader through the story. There are so many cool details in the background of each scene that really bring the story to life.
I am completely enchanted with everything in this sweet picture book! What a treasure!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.
In this story readers will find a robot family attempting to put together a new robobaby. There are plenty of obstacles in the way and they are forced to call on others to help them get the robobaby up and running. After some time the task is complete, but another surprise shows up at their doorstep. Do you know what it could be?
This delightful story of family has soft hues of yellow, orange, gray and green. The robots are various geometric shapes making them cute, lovable and even huggable. Cartoon bubbles are what readers will see to follow the story and the action. This is a perfect read for any beginner. Parents and teachers can use this book as a tool to discuss technology, following directions and what it would be like to have a robot baby.