I hate reading out loud. I think it stems from me being a very fast reader, and reading aloud slows me down. Yes, this is a dumb reason, but there it is. I have hated it since I was little and my mom made me read to my younger siblings. Now I have my own children, and I’m supposed to read to them to help their brains. And I do. And I usually still dislike it. But not Peter Brown’s The Wild Robot.
This is a children’s book. If that wasn’t clear. I’m going to guess that it’s for around third or fourth grade, but it is really entertaining for anyone. My kindergartener loved it just as much as my second grader. The preschooler didn’t really care, but he doesn’t sit still much anyway.
In The Wild Robot, we meet Roz. She is not your average robot. She is very smart and is built to adapt to the world around her. She was meant to be a work robot, but she ends up crash landed on an island. But instead of shutting down or waiting for people to save her, Roz thrives. She learns to talk to animals, and she makes a life for herself on the island, bettering the lives of all around her. Eventually her home is threatened, and Roz has to make a hard decision.
I loved this book. It doesn’t shy away from hard truths or sad things that happen. Roz lives in the wild, and sometimes animals eat each other and die from exposure and lots of other things that you don’t usually find in a children’s book. I appreciate that. It’s not gruesome or scary or anything like that, but Mr. Brown tells the story in a way that children can understand that sometimes sad things happen, and creatures get hurt. He always explains in a way that even a preschooler can understand. Beyond the sad parts, it is a charming story, well-told and supplemented by beautiful pictures that my kids constantly asked to see. We’ve now started on the second book. I can’t recommend this book enough. It is both mom- and kid-approved.