CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 11 . . . . February 3, 2006
After being bullied out of his playground, Robot Lilliput wonders, "Where am I going to play now?" He flies away in his airplane to search for friendlier locales. He comes to a crosswalk but finds the "HONK, HONK" of the traffic jam too noisy. Lilliput briefly investigates a garbage dump, but it proves to be "TOO STINKY!" After checking out a carnival and an "ICKY, STICKY, OOEEY and GOOEY" confection mess, the poor robot laments, "Will I ever find a new place to play?" A flying saucer then appears, and "ASTRO GUYS" take him to a planet with congenial roboteers. The last page is a literally eye-popping conclusion. Lilliput is surrounded by 42 identical tin dolls with red polka-dot dresses and pop-eyes. Hot pink caption balloons say, "I want to play, Lilliput."
Bright, brilliantly composed photographs showcase a fantastic collection of vintage tin toys, from robots to Ferris wheels. Information from the book cover explains that "Robot Lilliput 5357 is the earliest known wind-up toy. First appearing in Japan in the 1930s, Lilliput 5357 marked the start of the Golden Age of Robots." The jam-packed collages are incredibly effective at evoking a response. The garbage scene includes tin wind-up mice, plastic bugs, real orange peels and rotting apple cores. The candy scene depicts enough melting ice cream cones, sprinkles and frosting in sickeningly sweet shades of pink and blue to make you go into sugar shock.
The minimal text is a great balance to the jam-packed collages. The different fonts and typefaces used give an action-comic book quality. Japanese script is also included on some pages. Children will enjoy imitating the many different sound effects, like "ZIP ZOOM VROOOOM."
This book is a great homage to retro toys and imaginative play. The universal message of acceptance and belonging will resonate with readers.
Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.