Peculiar Picks are a selection of odd, funny, interesting, curious, moving, irreverent, and otherwise wonderfully awesome, but perhaps not well known, reads. Peculiar Picks are books for younger readers and their grown-ups, handpicked by the Library's Youth Services Manager, Joshua Carlson.
Ultrabot’s First Playdate by Josh Schneider
A young girl and the giant robot next door is the basic premise of this awesomely illustrated book. Ultrabot is worried and nervous about its first playdate with Becky, the girl next door, but all works out in this lovely book about making friends. Be sure to pay attention to the details of the illustrations, as there are fun (especially to the grownups) details throughout.
My daughter and I recently read this book, and I was moved by the simple, beautiful and emotional story. Young robot Z finds a note and the only words legible are Love, Beatrice. “What is love?” Z questions the older robots. “Does not compute,” their reply. Seeking the answer, Z embarks on a quirky quest to find Beatrice and learn what “love” is. Z meets many characters who provide their ideas of “love,” and finally learns: Z knew what it was all along.
While Love, Z may be heartwarming, The Robot and the Bluebird is almost heartbreaking. A broken robot is left in the scrap heap, his mechanical heart no longer working and irreparable. When a bluebird lands on his shoulder, too weary to make it South before the cold winter arrives, the robot carries the bird, a beating, joyful, singing, warm heart in his chest, through storms, over mountains, and to safety, at his own expense, asking only that the bird make a home within his heart from then on. A moving story about compassion, second chances, and helping others.
eBook / Library Catalog
I’ve written about this title previously, in another Peculiar Picks featuring Sergio Ruzzier’s Fox and Chick series, but it’s worth mentioning again here. Ruzzier’s zany illustrations combine with Michelle Robinson’s writing to create a fun, quirky and noisy read-aloud filled with repetition, something that is very important to your child’s early literacy development. Why is repetition important? Why is repetition important? Why is repetition important?