Monday, December 14, 2009

Robot Zot! by Jon Scieszka

Robot Zot is a Wham Bot! A Bam Bot! Robot Zot is unstoppable, and he's about to conquer the blue planet out his ship's porthole. Earth. He crashes his ship in the midst of the fierce Earth Army and howls his battle cry: “Robot Zot – never fall. Robot Zot – conquer all!” Leaving behind the safety of his ship, Robot Zot bravely races into …

… a kitchen.

Yes, a kitchen. With a black-and-white checkered linoleum floor, various appliances, and beautiful yellow cabinets.

Undaunted, he quickly begins his domination Earth. Robot Zot may be only 6 inches tall, but he’s a Wham Bot! A Bam Bot! And his blaster gun is certainly real. Blender? Blended. Egg beater? Beaten. Stainless steel toaster? Also falls at the hands of the great Robot Zot.

“Zot scans the battlefield. He is glorious. He stands victorious.”

Robot Zot continues his world domination with a fiery destruction of a box-shaped foe that issues challenges and insults. “Is your breath not smelling as fresh as you would like? Maybe you should try lemonmintpinefresh!” Ka-boom!

Readers will enjoy Robot Zot’s destruction of various household items, and just as they are expecting more explosions and victories on each page, a new challenge arises. Robot Zot meets the Queen of all Earth and falls quickly and deeply in love. When she’s kidnapped, his mission immediately changes from world domination to rescuing his new love.

Jon Scieszka’s sense of humor is … uh … not typical of children’s literature. Seriously, a robot bent on conquering an entire planet who destroys a blender and falls in love with the next generation of this? No, it’s not typical for children’s literature. It’s better. David Shannon’s illustrations show the diminutive Robot Zot as the force he truly is. He leaps off the page, gun blazing, eyes scowling, ready for battle. Ready for victory.

Be prepared for little robots to chant their way through the house or classroom, issuing challenges, and referring to themselves in third person. “Brian Bot – never fall! Brian Bot – conquer all!” One reading will lead to more, and reader bots will be hoping for more adventures featuring Robot Zot!

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