Review by Rox Burkey
Peter Brown does an amazing job at capturing the imagination of middle grade readers wanting to stretch their minds with a novel. The short chapters make it easy for young people to digest the story and honestly fun for adult reading too! The illustrations Mr. Brown adds are perfect for enhancing the story.
During a storm at sea a boatload of boxed robots crashes upon the shores of an island. Despite the harsh landing and numerous boxes and contents destroyed, one robot, Roz, is accidentally activated by sea otters then opens her eyes alone on an island. This story makes for a delightful exploration of robot machine learning evolution, while adapting to the surroundings.
There are several wonderfully developed characters that Roz interacts with as she overcomes the challenges of being an odd creature on this island. She is feared by the creatures until she figures out how to learn more about the environment and how to survive. One easy way to understand and relate to insights, that I found charming was in the chapter titled The Robot Sleeps. It provides a perfect sampling of the robot’s viewpoint and approach to circumstances.
“After a while, our robot’s computer brain decided it was a good time to conserve energy. So she sat and anchored her hands to the rocks, her nonessential programs switched off, and then, in her own way, the robot slept.”
I found the end of the book appropriate but, for me, sad, after all the trials and tribulations Roz overcame. I was excited to learn there is a sequel, The Wild Robot Escapes. I look forward to reading more of Peter Brown’s work.
About the Author
Peter Brown writes and illustrates books for young whippersnappers. He grew up in Hopewell, New Jersey, where he spent his time imagining and drawing silly characters. He studied Life Lessons at the School of Hard Knocks, and then got his B.F.A. in Illustration from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
After college Peter moved to Brooklyn, New York and spent several years painting backgrounds for animated TV shows. And then in 2003 he got a book deal to write and illustrate his first picture book FLIGHT OF THE DODO, which is a story that involves bird poop…in case you’re into that kind of thing. Since then he’s written and illustrated three more picture books, and illustrated several other books for young whippersnappers. His books have been adapted into plays and animated short films, they have been translated into a dozen languages, and they include the 2010 E.B. White award winner, Children’s Choice Award winner, and New York Times bestselling books THE CURIOUS GARDEN.
His books CHILDREN MAKE TERRIBLE PETS, YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND! and his latest book, CREEPY CARROTS! are also New York Times bestsellers and award winners. CREEPY CARROTS! written by Aaron Reynolds has also been named a 2013 Caldecott Honor book.
You can find out more about Peter, his upcoming appearances, especially for the sequel The Wild Robot Escapes, and his other books at www.peterbrownstudio.com