Robot In Love (T. L. McBeth)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Robot In Love by T. L. McBeth, an adorably offbeat love story.

Robot starts every day the same: unplug himself from the wall, eat some bread, leave the house. But today is no ordinary day – today is the day he sees HER. She’s shiny, very quiet, and their connection is simply electric. Robot spends the next few days mooning over his new love, even spending a night carefully constructing her a bouquet of flowers from spare metal parts. But when he arrives at their usual meeting spot to present them to her – she’s not there! Broken-hearted, Robot searches everywhere for his lost love, to no avail. Will he ever be reunited with the object of his affection?

This was a fun twist on the classic he-meets-she that’s full of clever, kid-friendly comedy. While both the narration and dialogue are from Robot’s perspective, the narration is widely kept conversational while the dialogue is peppered with fun-to-read robot “language”: “does not compute!”, “error”, etc. The story is harmless fun, a tale of love that’s frivolous enough to allow the comedy to take the lead, but never so flippant that it appears mocking. The minimalist art is befitting the mechanical main character, and the palette of red, black, white, and mixtures thereof is bright and bold. The length was great, and JJ loved the robot, so this one is definitely Baby Bookworm approved.

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Stegothesaurus (Bridget Heos)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Stegothesaurus, written by Bridget Heos and illustrated by T.L. McBeth, a silly adventure for budding wordsmiths.

Once upon a time, there were two regular stegosauruses and their brother, a stegoTHEsaurus. And while the first two brothers were content with their simple words to describe their world (“big” mountain, “yummy” plants), their brother likes to use his wealth of synonyms instead: “Gargantuan, gigantic, Goliath!”, and “Savory, scrumptious, succulent!”. So when a terrifying Allosaurus sneaks up on their den one night, the first two brothers are quick to run – but Stegothesaurus is so caught up with finding the right words, he is frozen in his tracks! That is until the Allosaurus responds with a collection of words of her own – turns out, she’s an AlloTHEsaurus! Looks like this is the beginning of a lovely friendship… or is it?

This one was a delightful mix of weird, wacky, funny, and sweet. The set-up is the classic story of being the odd one out, a pretty common theme in kidlit, but with a fun vocabulary-driven spin. But from there, it takes some honestly surprising and entertaining turns; I don’t say this often about picture books, but there were some twists in here that I genuinely did not see coming! The art is simple yet enjoyable, using basic shapes and saturated colors to create the characters and their environments, and adding a few bold design elements during the exciting moments. The length was good, and JJ always loves a dinosaur. A marvelous and unexpected tale, and we liked it, enjoyed it, dug it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)