What do you get when you add together one boy and one bot? In author Ame Dyckman’s book Boy + Bot, the answer to that equation is priceless friendship. With simple illustrations that fit the story like a glove and cast of random wonderful characters, this book should not be overlooked. After all, child + good book = happiness on a thousand levels!
What Happens in Boy + Bot?
A young boy is out collecting pine cones when he meets a robot. Naturally the thing to do is to see if the robot wants to play. After a quick “affirmative!” boy and bot head off to have a jolly time. They balance on logs, they skip stones, and they roll down hills…oops. Robots aren’t meant to roll down hills. A rock bumps the bot’s power switch off. Concerned, the boy brings him home, and does everything he can to help his friend with some very ‘human’ techniques, such as feeding him applesauce and reading stories.
The illustrations in this book are lovely. They aren’t too busy, they don’t clutter the book, and they depict the boy and the robot flawlessly. They do, in fact, mimic the simple straightforward text in the story, which doesn’t over embellish anything, but is far from lacking in richness and entertainment. The author says what she needs to say and that’s that, and that’s perfect.
An important thing to consider in any book we pick out for our children is the theme. What message is going to come across? What do we want them to take away from the book?
A common theme in many children’s books is friendship, less common though are children’s books with the theme of friendship that really stand out. Boy + Bot is one of those less common ones. The friendship in this book is simple, but touching in how much the boy and bot about each other considering they haven’t exactly been friends for more than a day or so. Even so, when something happens to the robot the boy is exceptionally concerned about his friend and vice versa. I love how random it is in that sense.
Is Boy + Bot A Good Book? Affirmative!
I adore it! No actually I do. I was hesitant to read it (it was given to me by my boyfriend who happens to be obsessed with robots) but to his credit, it turned out to be a truly wonderful book. The story is incredibly sweet, and seriously funny. It reminded me a little bit of The Iron Giant, an animated movie that came out a number of years ago about a boy who finds and fixes a giant robot who later goes on to become his friend.
To me Boy + Bot also sings a beautiful tune about what it’s like to be a kid. It’s like ‘ah childhood, the only time in our lives when we can stumble upon a robot whilst collecting pine cones and the only question on our lips is “want to play?”’