________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 40 . . . . June 23, 2017


Can You Find My Robot's Arm?

Chihiro Takeuchi.
Toronto, ON: Tundra Books, 2017.
40 pp., hardcover & epub, $21.99 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-101-91903-3 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-101-91904-0 (epub).

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7.

Review by Christina Quintiliani.

***½ /4



No, a broom won't make a good arm.
Neither will a pencil.
Neither will scissors.
And an umbrella certainly won't do.

Can You Find my Robot's Arm? is the creative invention of author and illustrator Chihiro Takeuchi who has previously published children's works in Japanese. In this fun and humorous read, the black and white illustrations tell the tale of a tiny robot who one day realizes that his mechanical arm has gone missing. With the assistance of a miniature robot sidekick, the robot goes off in search of his lost appendage. While an abundance of substitute 'arms', such as a fork, branch, fish bone, and even a lollipop, are considered, none can adequately serve as an effective replacement. In the end, the robot decides that the fork, which is the most similar in size and design, will have to do as an alternative until his original arm can be located. On the final page, readers are provided with a surprise twist as the robotic arm is shown in a bowl next to the dog house of a robotic dog who evidently had snatched the arm, thinking all along that it had been a bone.

      Takeuchi uses paper cut to create her illustrations, and the effect is quite pleasing to the eye. The black cutouts on the white background boldly stand out, allowing each small detail to be clearly observed. Colour is only used as a background to the text on the left hand pages, and it acts as a lovely contrast to the black and white of the imagery. Some pages are wordless which invite readers to pause and carefully investigate the visual content for potential clues offering hints about where the robot's arm could possibly be located. Young children will certainly delight in attempting to solve the mystery and may enjoy brainstorming ideas about other potential household items that could serve as a makeshift arm.

      Takeuchi's miniature robotic world is a joy to explore. Her original, illustrative style, which offers amusing variations between single, full-page pictures and multiple, smaller-framed images, successfully holds readers' attention and sparks the imagination. An entertaining, interactive adventure from cover to cover, Can You Find my Robot's Arm? would serve as a motivational acquisition for any library or home collection.

Highly Recommended.

Christina Quintiliani is an Ontario Certified Teacher and Ph.D. Candidate at the Faculty of Education, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON., where she is researching children's literature.

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.

Next Review | Table of Contents for This Issue - June 23, 2017.

CM Home
| Back Issues | Search | CM Archive | Profiles Archive