If it was not clear by now to the readers of this blog, Caramel loves robots. This week he got his paws on a graphic novel published first in 2007 about one particular robot: Robot Dreams by Sara Varon, and he had to review it for the book bunnies blog. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.
Sprinkles: So Caramel, this book was perfect for you, with a robot as one of the main characters, and in a really neatly drawn graphic novel format. Don’t you think?
S: I knew it! So tell me a bit about the book then.
C: Robot Dreams is kind of sad because it is about a robot who is friends with a dog but then gets rusty and the dog has to leave him.
S: I know. It is pretty sad at times. But it is also really cute and sweet when the dog and the robot are friends and are enjoying each other’s company immensely, no?
C: Yes. I just wanted them to continue to be friends. Forever.
S: Unfortunately, Caramel, there are very few things that last forever.
C: Yes, but I did not need to be reminded of that annoying fact.
S: I understand of course.
S: So tell me a bit more about the book.
C: Well, nobody speaks in the whole book. There are only a few words, when the dog and the robot go to the library for example. And at the very beginning when the dog receives the box containing the robot from the mailman.
S: Hmm, why do you think there are no words?
C: The author said that she feels like she is not the most articulate person, but also that the story was one that could be told without words, because it could be told in actions.
S: And it is, isn’t it? We do see how the two are good friends, and how they enjoy each other’s company, and how they get sad when things go wrong, and so on.
S: Okay, then tell me a bit about the title of the book. It is a neat title, no? It could have two meanings. The robot is dreaming or the dreams belongs to the robot or about the robot.
C: Yes, either the robot is dreaming or dreams of robots. I like it!
S: Which one is it do you think?
C: I’m guessing it is the first one. Because we see the robot dreaming of the dog coming back and saving him and they are together again, but it is only a dream, unfortunately.
S: I can see that.
C: And in the end both have new friends. The dog has a new robot friend, and the original robot has a new friend who is a raccoon.
S: I guess life goes on, right?
C: Yes, but …
S: I think you don’t like that kind of change.
C: Yes, that is correct. I’d be happier if the dog could have saved the robot.
S: So I know this is a sad book, but it is also very simply illustrated and just beautiful. And I think you actually really liked it. Is that correct?
S: And so maybe we can add this to the very short list of sad books that you liked even so. (As far as I can tell, there are only two books on that list so far: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White and Poppy and Ereth by Avi.)
C: Yes. But I would have preferred to add it to a longer list of happy books that I like.
S: I know. but sometimes sad books are good too.
C: I’m not going to comment on that.
S: So let us wrap this review up then. What three words would you use to describe this book?
C: Colorful, wordless, interesting. I only wish I could also say happy.
S: I know. But the three words you gave me work well enough. And what would you like to tell our reader Caramel?
C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!