What are my kids reading this August 2020?

The Wild Robot written by Peter Brown

Bought as a gift for my second son, aged 8, I decided to check this book out myself after hearing his praise and… I LOVED it! 

The story is somewhat quieter, more contemplative than books my son normally chooses but he has mentioned it many times since and I even heard him recommend it to his older brother last week! 

‘The Wild Robot’ is the story of a standard issue female robot, named Roz, who gets washed up on a remote island inhabited by hostile wild animals. In order to survive she must learn to communicate with them and learn their ways of life. But it is only when Roz attempts to care for an orphaned gosling that she truly finds her place amongst the other animals. 

This story deals with so many important topics for children; loneliness, exclusion, trust, community, adoption, family and friendship. It was gently and soulfully written and the robots awareness of human emotions and instinct to survive made it a fascinating read. Having a robot for a main character was not only interesting but it made the book more accessible for my son too, even though she was a female robot and a mother. I also liked the wild setting which complimented the idea of the dangers and delights of modern technology. 

The illustrations were a delightful addition too. I love chapter books with the odd illustration for children, I think they make them more memorable. A few sparse illustrations also help the book appeal to readers as young as 5/6 years old, and reluctant older readers, as they create powerful breaks between the short chapters and act as visual image guides for building worlds through words. I wish more books for this age bracket did the same. 

Since us both finishing this book Calum requested, bought and read the second book in the series The Wild Robot Escapes. Read in less than 24 hours he declared it to be equally brilliant. I now know what book I will be reading next!

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