Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool, Primary
Author: Anna Staniszewski
Illustrator: Tim Zeltner
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Little Robot isn't terribly excited about going to bed, so he opens his stalling program. He asks Mom Unit for a drink of oil, begs to stay up late, and brushes his cogs as slowly as possible. Then he asks Mom Unit to read him a manual and tell him how he was manufactured. Mom Unit saves him from his error message nightmares and the rusty monster in his closet. He continues to try and stall by telling Mom Unit about hummingbird wings. Little Robot even tries to sneak down the stairs, but Mom Unit catches him and sends him back to his sleeping module. Eventually, after many tries and fails, Mom Unit successfully gets Little Robot to power down and go to sleep.
This picture book is a well-illustrated rendition of the classic "child-doesn't-want-to-go-to-bed" story. The illustrations are beautiful, and they fit the story well. The robots are colorful and full of personality. The concept of having a little robot who doesn't want to power down for the night is a very clever idea. The one downside of this book is the technology-specific vocabulary. It is definitely important in setting the atmosphere of the book, but it makes it more difficult for young readers to read. Words like "sequence," "initiated," "module," and "manufactured" will be more difficult for beginning readers. In addition, concepts like computer programs, manuals, modules, and interfacing could be tricky for young children to grasp. However, this book would still be an excellent book to read aloud to kids at bedtime, as long as these concepts are explained.