Reviews for Robot Zot!


Booklist Reviews 2009 August #1
Robot Zot, a tiny but deadly serious space droid, bravely crashes his Attack Ship into Earth. "Robot Zot--never fall. Robot Zot--conquer all!" he cries before stomping his way across the dangerous terrain of an American kitchen with Bot, his silent doglike companion. To Zot, everything looks like an enemy: the blender, the hand mixer, the coffee maker--all must be destroyed! Even "Earth's shiny Captain" (the toaster) is blown to bits. But when Zot's gaze lands upon a child's toy phone, he feels a stirring of something quite different from destructive rage. It's love, and Zot will brave anything, even "Earth's most fearsome Commander General" (the family dog) to spirit his sweetheart off to space. Zot, drawn in extreme angles by Shannon as something resembling a demented gas pump with legs, is hilariously driven, grappling with vacuum hoses and accosting TV sets with intergalactic zeal. But it's Zot's broken robot-pidgin ("Who is talking large now?") that will make this irresistible for role-playing read-alouds. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2009 #6
Scieszka's dedication of his story to "Don Q. and Sancho P." indicates the mock-epic nature of Robot Zot's never-ending battle against the forces of evil. Accompanied by loyal sidekick Best Pal Bot, Robot Zot faces down such fearsome creatures as a blender, a coffee maker, and even his own Knight of the Mirrors -- a toaster. After dispatching -- spectacularly -- a television set, Zot finds his Dulcinea (a child's toy cell phone) and snatches her from the jaws of "Earth's most fearsome Commander General" (a black Lab puppy). The tension between the robot's clueless heroics and the domestic setting is made manifest in Shannon's acrylic illustrations, all down close at Zot's perspective, and our hero is appealingly rumpled and careworn -- somebody has loved this brave little guy. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2009 August #1
Robot Zot invades Earth, vowing to destroy all earthly enemies--mostly kitchen appliances, as Zot measures a whopping four inches high. Scieszka and Shannon combine forces to deliver an hilarious, action-packed picture book characterized by grandiose face-offs, monosyllabic robot rants and wham-bam-boom pacing. Boys finally get the unadulterated action, hyperbolic humor and punchy language (Zot challenges, Zot blasts, Zot scans!) they love. Boys and girls will giggle as the little robot misinterprets a familiar world, the suburban home, calling the toaster the "Earth's shiny Captain" and a baby's toy phone "the Queen of all Earth." They will identify with the diminutive droid as he alters the scope of everyday surroundings. The kitchen morphs into a vast battlefield, the backyard into a beast-infested wilderness. The vibrant illustrations capture Zot's skewed perspective and misguided heroics in freeze-frame shots. Bright oranges, reds and yellows dominate the otherwise metallic palette and provide tough colors for tough kids. Sophisticated comedy, challenging vocabulary and pithy writing offer undetectable, beneficial learning opportunities, like zucchini hidden in a yummy cupcake. Must...Have...Robot...Zot! (Picture book. 3-8) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2009 August #2

Scieszka and Shannon take a detour from their Trucktown series to pay homage to another object of childhood fascination. Robot Zot, a malevolent red contraption, crash lands "into the heart of the dangerous Earth Army" (a backyard) and makes his way into a fully equipped kitchen. There, it's revealed that Zot is about the size of an iPod. After fending off "attacks" from a toaster and a television, Zot faces his toughest challenge yet: rescuing the amazing "Queen of all Earth" (an attractive toy cellphone). He and his sidekick (a cross between a snail and a conquistador's helmet--one of a few references to the Quixotic nature of Zot's mission) save the queen and escape while a bewildered homeowner surveys the aftermath and blames his dog. Scieszka laces his action-filled narrative with rhymes and repetitive robot phrases ("Robot Zot--never fall./ Robot Zot--conquers all!"). Shannon's acrylic artwork offers bright colors and plenty of humor (a slightly anthropomorphized blender's white buttons fall out like teeth under Zot's attack). This comically self-deluded protagonist proves that fierce warriors of any size can still be brought to their knees by love. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)

[Page 53]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2009 September

PreS-Gr 3--This book has everything that kids like: robots, heroics, humor, action, a little bit of destruction (inanimate objects only), and even a touch of romance. Robot Zot crashes into an alien environment (the suburbs), battles with fearsome kitchen appliances and a challenging transmitter (TV), and rescues the Queen of all Earth (a toy cell phone) before zooming off "to distant galaxies to bravely save more days." The text's rhythm is a bit odd, moving back and forth between prose and rhyme, but the short declarative sentences will make it approachable for early or reluctant readers, and the melodrama keeps it fun. Shannon's crazy, action-filled illustrations can be a little confusing, but also contain so much humor (including jokes that are absent from the text) that children will be happy to stick around and decode them. The bold, funny, over-the-top text and art are the perfect complement to one another. Seemingly inspired by sources such as Star Wars and Toy Story, the most important message of this lighthearted tale is that reading really is fun.--Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL

[Page 134]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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