Peter Brown takes nature and science and mashes them together in The Wild Robot. It is a concept that doesn’t seem like it would work, but it does, surprisingly well. A hurricane sinks a ship that contained (among other things) Robots. Roz (short for ROZZUM unit 7134) finds herself (itself?) the only intact functioning robot on the shores of an unknown island. She meets some otters that trigger her “on” switch, and she proceeds to learn and adapt to life amongst the creatures. It takes some time for her to earn their trust and decipher their language. After that, she proceeds to assist them in making their lives easier, and I’d say more eventful.
I wanted to type that I thought it would be a better read for younger kids and then I thought about how much death there is in this story- so maybe not. It’s not a book that easily fits into a category. The illustrations are supreme. We checked it out in Kindle form, and the pictures even in that way were beautiful. What I didn’t like was the author breaking the wall and speaking to the reader. As in, “you, the reader.” It was disruptive to the story flow and just didn’t work for me.
I borrowed this book from the Chicago Public Library to read as a bedtime story. A Serendipitous update: I found a brand new copy of this book at a used bookstore about a week ago for a dollar! So, now we own it.
And there is a sequel in the works: The Wild Robot Escapes