Book Review

Mini(bot) Reviews: Weird Little Robots

I myself, am strange and unusual a weird little robot, so of course I was pleased to find I’d won a copy of this middle-grade book.

Weird Little Robots by Carolyn Crimi and illustrated by Corinna Luyken
My Edition: ARC paperback – 234 pages – 2019 – Candlewick Press – ISBN: 9780763694937 (hardcover) – Expected publication in October 2019

I won a copy of this book from LibraryThing in exchange for my honest review.

This is the story about the new kid in town, Penny Rose, and her adventures in making friends. She makes little robots out of found items and in doing so, meets Lark, who makes birdhouses in much the same way. As the two become friends, they discover that the robots Penny Rose made are more than just clever machines, they’re alive! The two build the little bots a fantastic metropolis to play in, thanks to Lark’s clever ideas. But when Penny Rose receives a mysterious invitation to join a secret science club, she begins to distance herself from Lark. Penny Rose soon finds herself having to choose between her new best friend and the chance to be part of her dream club.

This is a fun little story perfect for younger middle-grade readers. While it lacked the depth I prefer, it has great messages about friendship, creativity, and self-acceptance. Even the secret science club is comprised of some unexpected members, showing young readers that people can have interests outside stereotypes such as jocks, popular girls, etc.

The robots were my favorite part of course. Penny Rose created five little bots each with their own personalities and special functions. For instance, iPam is made out of an old cellphone, so she can communicate through her screen and loves to use phrases like ‘lol’ and ‘fyi.’ Her name made me smile too.

While I realize the illustrations might not be final in my ARC, I like the artwork and there were plenty of images throughout. Nothing is more disappointing than when a book has great artwork but you only get like, four pictures throughout the whole story. It would be wonderful if the finished copy had color illustrations, but even in black and white, they’re cute.

If you know a younger reader looking for a book about robots, friendship, or with protagonists who are interested in science and crafting, I think they’ll enjoy this book. If Crimi and Luyken put out more books in this series I would certainly read them.

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