“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Robot Zot! • Picture book

Robot Zot!
by Jon Scieszka  illustrated by David Shannon
From best-selling authors Jon Scieszka -- the 1st ever US Children's Book Ambassador -- and David Shannon comes a tale of a quixotic robot determined to conquer the earth....
Story: ... the only problem is that the earth he lands on is a suburban kitchen and he is three inches tall. Robot Zot, the fearless and unstoppable warrior, leaves a trail of destruction as he encounters blenders, toasters, and televisions. But when he discovers the princess...a pink cell phone...his mission takes a new course. Robot Zot must learn how to be a hero - in the name of true love.
Story behind the story:  Jon Scieszka is the creator of Trucktown and the author of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, the Time Warp Trio series, Caldecott Honor Book The Stinky Cheese Man, and many other books that inspire kids to want to read. He has worked as an elementary school teacher, is the founder of a literacy initiative for boys (www.guysread.com), and just finished his term as the first ever US Ambassador for Children's Books.  David Shannon has written and illustrated numerous award winning picture books including Duck on a Bike, the Caldecott Honor Book No David!, How I Learned to be a Pirate, and Good Boy Fergus. He is also one of the collaborative illustrators in Jon Scieszka's Trucktown series.

"This book has everything that kids like: robots, heroics, humor, action, a little bit of destruction (inanimate objects only), and even a touch of romance....the most important message of this lighthearted tale is that reading really is fun." -- School Library Journal, starred review

A New York Times Bestseller
A New York Public Library Top 100 Title for Reading and Sharing

Publisher Simon and Schuster has created Robot Zot! activities to share with young readers including a Spot the Difference sheet, find your way through the maze, and more.

FYI: all the review copies for this title have been sent; please check back on the "comments" link to read what your colleagues have to say.


happybirthdayblog said...

My son loves this book! I have to read it in a robot voice though!

Barbara said...

Being familiar with the Don Quixote storyline only makes this book more delicious. The illustration's perspectives are precious, Robot Zot's fearlessness has no bounds and his chivalrous love for his "queen" all combine to make a great story, no matter the age of the reader/listener. I did feel a little bad for the dog of the house, but, oh well!
Rating: 5

Anonymous said...

This book has very colorful and interesting pictures. I can imagine a kid of any age making the connections and loving the book! They need to infer a little in order to understand what is going on, though. It's a very good higher level book.
Rating: 4

Carol said...

Robot Zot is an appealing character and serves as a quality model for the writing trait of voice. Robot Zot's thirst for adventure and his witty sense of humor, make him pull the reader onto his side! This book demonstrates the writing trait of sentence fluency and conventions as well. Who doesn't love David Shannon? His illustrations in this book both supplement and balance the text, by building concrete meaning for the reader, as well as telling a story outside the restraint of the text. The observers and listeners will see things in the pictures- you won't see if you are just focused on the print. See if your students can guess the illustrator by exploring the illustrations (another modeling of voice). I will purchase this book for our school library.

EShay said...

I looked forward to reading this book from the moment I saw the authors' names. The oversized pictures and bright colors make this a great read aloud. The poetic flow of the words are highly entertaining.
As with most Scieszka books, I found this to have, at times, a bit much going on and the plot a bit thin, but it is an enjoyable book that kids will love. Who doesn't love an adorable robot?
I give it a 4.

Pamela Kramer said...

Sometimes I wonder if I am just curmudgeonly, but I didn't love this book as others did. I did enjoy the illustrations, but I found the text both simplistic and too complex at the same time.

Some of the text was extremely simple but at other times the vocabulary was too difficult for readers who would be interested in the book. I also think the font might be difficult for younger readers to decipher.

I think that this book will resonate with some readers, but I would not take it to every picnic.

ahslibrarian said...

Robot Zot has a familiar feel in the hand. Whether that feels good or bad depends on reader’s preferences more than it does the abilities of the author and illustrator.

Face it, you either like robots or you don’t. Most guys like robots, or at least the idea of robots. Add syncopated text to the mix and be prepared for a fun and lively romp.

There is not much original in the book, but it is fun to read and view again and again. I guess it’s like that episode of Glligan’s Island where Robby the Robot appears on the island and the castaways adapt its skills to their daily routines. We know the story, can predict the outcome, but somehow find it entertaining nearly forty-five years later.

The tangles with household appliances are slapstick. They remind me of some really classic cartoons. This too is a well-explored theme, but Scieszka and Shannon make it work in a fresh way.

Enjoy this book with the boys in your life. If you buy it they will come. This book appeals to the little boy in all of us that still has imagination of things that might just happen one day.

5 of 5

John Parker
Media Coordinator
Andrews High School
Andrews, NC 28901

juli said...

I was so excited to receive Robot Zot! I immediately read it to my fifth grade class during our long week of state testing. It was a welcome and fun break from the heaviness of testing. They enjoyed the "robot talk" and the unexpected surprises in story and illustration as we turned each page. They highly recommended the book to our first grade buddies.

They gave the book a 5 rating.

Margie said...

Anytime, a new book is published that I think will appeal to boys, I like to celebrate!

As a writing coach, I can see this book being used as a springboard for writing. For example, students in younger grades can be acutely aware of all the details in the illustrations. The wordless pages near the beginning of the book would be a great place to start. Students can create their own Robot Zot stories. On the other hand, Robot Zot also lends itself nicely for a lesson on voice or word choice in older grades. I would definitely model a "robot voice" for these students and challenge them to find their voice to create a new adventure for Robot Zot!

Interesting book!

My rating: 4

Megan B. said...

I was so excited to receive this book. I mean, who doesn't love David Shannon and Jon Scieszka? I ended up loving Shannon's illustration, as I knew I would. I enjoyed Scieszka's storyline as well, althouh I think the 3-7 age range may be off. I think 4 would be the youngest I would read it to.


Julia Pitau said...

I found myself laughing aloud as I read "Robot Zot!" I anticipate this book to be well received among parents and their children. Even though the last page left me saying, "Hun?" to myself, it is an all-in-all good, entertaining book that should be enjoyed by everyone.

Picnic Rating: 4

Denair Charter Academy
Denair, CA

Lemon the Duck said...

Budding romance in robot form! I found this book to be very comical in both the illustrations and text. It had a great setting, unique perspective, voice, and was especially appealing to the boys in my class. David Shannon's illustrations were immediately recognized and Jon Scieszka's story turned my kids on to rereading his previous works.
I rate this book a 4 out of 5.
Laura Backman
Hathaway School

Lisa Kennedy said...

I suppose I may just be a girl who is bad at speaking in a robot voice but as my young niece would say, "I did not yuv this book". I adored the illustrations. Sadly, I just couldn't get into the story. There is no doubt in my mind however, that it is a book that would be "yuvved" by boys of all ages and probably quite a few girls, just not this one. I will probably purchase it for our media center just for those who "yuv" robots. Take this book on a picnic with a robot and a boy and all will be well. I give this book a 3 out of 5 on The Picnic Basket scale.

Mrs. Brey's Third Grade Class said...

"Robot Zot" is boring. First of all, the pictures are amazing and beautiful. The disappointment is I could not understand it and the words didn't help much. I think if you are beginning to learn how to read, it's the perfect book.

I would not recommend "Robot Zot". Preschoolers might like it but the book really needs more details. The different events come sudden and very unexpected.

Our class rates this book 2 out of 5.

Mrs. Brey's Third Grade class
Paradise Valley, AZ

DA Tyo said...

A late post here, but I can't tell you how many times my son has picked up this book and 'read' it. He is only in kindergarten so after a few readings through with me, he looks at the pictures and tells his own story. The illustrations are grand! For our family, I would rate this book a Picnic Basket rating of 4 based on how many times my son goes back to this book.

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