Review: Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell
Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover
By Cece Bell
The children’s lit landscape is rich with classic ampersand teams – nowhere more so than in the easy reader category. Frog & Toad, Elephant & Piggie, Bink & Gollie – unlikely friendships abound. Cece Bell’s delightful Rabbit & Robot makes a conspicuous entry into this realm of the buddy book. Full of humor, heart, and Bell’s signature quirk – it fits right in.
Robot arrives at Rabbit’s house, ready for a sleepover. Rabbit, the planner, has crafted a list of four specific to-dos, which mimic the chapters of the book:
- Make Pizza
- Watch TV
- Play Go Fish
- Go to Bed
It quickly becomes clear that Rabbit’s well-laid plans might not work for the more pragmatic Robot, who prefers screws as a pizza topping, Old Maid to Go Fish, and has batteries that sometimes run out. But the friends manage to survive the ups and downs – managing to have fun along the way. Robot’s analysis of the data sums it up: “Today was a good day.”
Readers who enjoy some silliness will find much to like in this pair of friends. Expect laughs when Robot takes apart the kitchen table to complete his pizza, and when the TV remote goes missing in Rabbit’s ear. There are moments of honest friendship as well, as the friends compromise and help each other out.
The illustrations were created digitally – you coulda fooled me. It seems like the theme of my life these days is not being able to tell when computers were used to create artwork. The palette is soft and the line work is bold, making for eye-catching results.
When done well, there’s always room for another “&”. Go ahead and welcome Rabbit & Robot to the club. I hope to see more of this pair.
Review copy from the library.
Filed under: Reviews
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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