Rabbit & Robot: the Sleepover by Cece Bell.
Rabbit is planning a sleepover with his friend Robot. He has made a list of everything that he plans for them to do together. This list both appears in the text and as the chapter headings of this very early chapter book. What will happen when Robot doesn’t agree with everything on the list? Kids who like to be in control (those would be mine) will easily sympathize with Rabbit’s horror when his carefully-made plans start going awry. Robot cheerfully works to find a compromise between Rabbit’s plans and what he wants, while Rabbit panics each step of the way. In Chapter 1, Rabbit planned pizza for dinner – but he only provided carrots and lettuce as toppings, while Robot wants nuts, bolts and screws. I love that Robot a) eats and b) is OK with the bread and cheese part of pizza, just not the carrots. Robot’s solution is to take apart Rabbit’s table and use its hardware as pizza toppings, leading to another meltdown as Rabbit realizes that they no longer have a table to eat at. The simple but expressive line drawings are a wonderful synthesis of retro and modern – Robot has a single wheel underneath and coils of wire that give him a 1950s robot feel, while Rabbit’s TV both sports a bunny-eared antenna set and a remote control. The text is about on par or maybe just a touch more challenging than Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad books. Really, this is everything you could want in a book to coax a new reader: appealing characters, humor, and the perfect balance between familiarity and novelty. My son read it himself, enjoyed both by him and the adult he was listening to.
I’m submitting this as part of the Kid Lit Blog Hop. Hop on over and see what everyone else is posting!