________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 38 . . . . June 5, 2015


Robot Smash!

Stephen W. Martin. Illustrated by Juan Carlos Solon.
Toronto, ON: Owlkids Books, 2015.
32 pp., hardcover, $17.95.
ISBN 978-1-77147-067-4.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 3-6.

Review by Meredith Cleversey.

**** /4



Zombies, ninjas, pirates!

I am a robot. I like to...


A certain robot likes to smash things. All sorts of things, including soda cans, brussels sprouts, and even robot puppies. Smashing is his life, but when he sees a super girl robot, he starts to imagine a different way of living. He pictures the two of them riding bikes, eating ice cream, and taking a calm walk through a pretty meadow. But not all perfect relationships begin with gentility, and this robot's happy fantasies are soon interrupted by his new, smashing crush.

internal art      Robot SMASH!, written by Stephen W. Martin and illustrated by Juan Carlos Solon, is a clever tale about a robot and his ideal, destructive partner. Written with minimal text, Robot SMASH! takes readers through a world resembling a video game, where nothing, from petunias to all-talk radio, is safe from the crushing force of the title character. When the robot sees a girl robot smashing things in the distance, he is overcome with romantic visions. But the girl robot is no different from him—her greatest pleasure also comes from smashing everything in sight—and soon the robot finds himself struck down by her powerful blow. This, of course, makes him like her all the more, and the two start a happy relationship smashing things together.

internal art      Juan Carlos Solon's illustrations are the heart of Robot SMASH!. Completely pixelated and full of bright colours, this smashing adventure is designed to look like an old-style video game, an effect furthered by tallying scores gained from the robot's smashing. This unique style of illustration gives readers the feeling they're witnessing game-play, making this robot's story a lot of fun to experience. With sodas, flowers, even toilets exploding across each page, humour and action abound as the robot goes about his day destroying whatever happens to cross his path. The pixelated way these images appear will also appeal to adults familiar with the old video games that really did resemble the robot's world, making this a great story for adults and children to read together.

internal art      Stephen W. Martin and Juan Carlos Solon have achieved a smashing success with Robot SMASH!. This is an adorably quirky story perfect for fans of video games, robots, and unconventional happily ever afters.

Highly Recommended.

Meredith Cleversey is a librarian in Cambridge, ON. She loves to read, write, and live in a world of pure imagination.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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