Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover (CYBILS Nominee)

Ah, the sleepover. The bowls of buttery popcorn, the fuzzy PJs, the watching of movies into the wee hours, the tears and hurt feelings as young tempers fray. As a kid I looked forward to nocturnal play dates; as a parent I dreaded them.

In Cece Bell's book for beginning readers, Best buds Rabbit and Robot are having their first sleepover. It's at Rabbit's house and he's fairly hopping with excitement. A bit of a control freak, Rabbit has firm ideas about what should take place at a sleepover and he has a list to prove it.

1. Make pizza
2. Watch TV
3. Play Go Fish
4. Go to bed

As the poet Robert Burns famously wrote, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray." Apparently, a rabbit's plans too. Robot doesn't want carrots on his pizza; he prefers nuts, bolts, and screws. When he removes all the hardware from the table and chairs, the friends have no place to eat their dinner. Rabbit has a major meltdown until Robot spreads a blanket on the floor and they enjoy an indoor picnic.

Each remaining chapter deals with another item from Rabbit's list. Rabbit can't find the remote to watch TV, then Robot's batteries conk out while the friend are playing Go Fish, and at bedtime Robot is without PJs and has to borrow a pair from Rabbit. By lights out, Rabbit has manages to ease up enough to suggest that maybe Robot can make the next day's to-do list. Maybe.

Channeling Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad characters, Bell creates her version of mismatched friends. While Rabbit always has to have his way, Robot, who resembles an anthropomorphic iPhone, is more easy-going and accommodating. The cartoony illustrations are a lot of fun, especially the ones that show Robot zigzagging around the house on his one wheel. Beginning readers are sure to enjoy this new series. Who wouldn't want a robot for a friend!

Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover
by Cece Bell
Candlewick Press, 56 pages
Published: September 2012


  1. I'm sure my sons would like to have a robot as a friend! I'm going to put this one on my library hold list. Thanks for linking up to TCB, again. I'm putting this on the Pinterest board, too.