Booklist starred (April 1, 2012 (Vol. 108, No. 15))
Preschool-Grade 1. Is any love greater than that between a boy and his robot? While picking pinecones, a boy meets a bright-red, rocket-shaped robot and asks, “Want to play? “Affirmative!” the robot responds, and the pair has tons of fun until a rock bumps the robot’s power switch off. Not understanding the bot’s unresponsiveness, the boy wheels him home and begins feeding him applesauce, reading him a story, and crafting a makeshift bed. When the boy’s parents, unaware of a robot behind the door, check on their son, the door bumps the robot’s power switch back on. Not distinguishing the boy’s unresponsiveness as sleep, the robot, in a humorous reversal, fears the boy has malfunctioned and carries him back to his laboratory, where he gives him oil and begins to prepare a new battery—when, just in time, the not-evil-at-all inventor shows up to put things right. The spare text (“Boy! You-are-fixed!”) replicates the steady beats of the simple yet comedic story, while Yaccarino’s expressive, quirky, and humorously geometric gouache illustrations make the boy and robot’s relationship all the more endearing. The final, nearly wordless pages, with snapshots of the friends at play, are priceless.