Reviews for Baby Brains and Robomom


Booklist Reviews 2008 April #1
After Mrs. Brains falls asleep while reading a bedtime story, her superintelligent baby designs and builds her a large, mechanical helper named RoboMom. Mrs. Brains welcomes its assistance with ironing and dishes, but when the robot takes over her baby's bedtime, she's resentful. Mechanical malfunctions result in comical scenes and an explosive climax. Tinted with watercolor washing, the slightly scruffy ink drawings are reminiscent of Quentin Blake's illustrations in their simplicity, expressiveness, and comic pacing. This amusing tale of household chaos is sure to please fans of Baby Brains (2004) and Baby Brains Superstar (2005). Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2008 January #1
As clever and funny as the first two, this super toddler's third exploit again carries the message that there's no substitute for parental TLC. Having already invented a motorized stroller and a self-rocking cradle, the onesie-clad genius knocks together a robotic mom to give his exhausted human one a break--but then finds himself being washed in the sink with the dirty dishes and hung out on the line to dry with the laundry. Out rushes Baby Brains' real mom to the rescue, just as the metal one, who had been trailing an increasingly thick cloud of smoke for several pages, explodes. Wielding pen and brush with a free hand, James creates informal cartoon views of the tiny but confident-looking rugrat rejecting baby toys in favor of a laptop, chemistry lab and gas welder as his bemused but ever-fond parents look on. In the final scene, however, he nestles comfortably in his mother's lap for a shared story as Robomom Mark Two, now only a foot high, zooms past with the vacuum cleaner--leaving Davide Cal"'s similarly themed, witty but less broadly appealing Mama Robot (see above) in the dust. (Picture book. 6-8) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 May

K-Gr 2-- Baby Brains is back and as funny as ever. Even as a newborn, he exceeded all of his parents' hopes and expectations for a clever child. In the first book he whizzed through medical school and outer space. This time around, he sticks close to home experimenting with his chemistry set and coming up with new inventions. Many of these projects, like the remote-controlled self-rocking cradle, are designed to make his parents' lives easier. Alas, they are still worn out. Mrs. Brains even falls asleep reading her son a bedtime story (Hamlet ). The wunderkind is sure that science and technology hold the answer, so he works all night to build "RoboMom." She helps with household chores, but soon starts doing too much. She makes a series of hilarious mistakes such as washing Baby with the dishes and leaving him dangling from the clothesline to dry, as he cries "I want my mommy!" He is rescued just before RoboMom explodes. He then makes a miniature version to vacuum while his human parents take care of the important stuff. The ink and watercolor illustrations are filled with warmth and playful details. Kids will laugh at the absurdity while adults chuckle at the wit. This is a delightful addition to James's sensitive yet playful body of work.--Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK

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