The Wild Robot
By Peter Brown
When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. Why is she there? Where did she come from? And, most important, how will she survive in her harsh surroundings? Roz’s only hope is to learn from the island’s hostile animal inhabitants. When she tries to care for an orphaned gosling, the other animals finally decide to help, and the island starts to feel like home. Until one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her….
My thoughts on this book:
My family loves Peter Brown and we have a few of his other children’s books in our home library which are favorites. We were so excited to find out he had written a middle-grade book and went ahead and purchased The Wild Robot. After my daughter read it, she kept begging me to get to it and I’m sorry I waited so long. This turned out to be a great read!
The story begins with a robot named Roz who has arrived on an island. She was in a crate among other robots on a ship and now has been washed up on the shore. Roz seems to be the only robot left as the others have been crashed and broken into pieces. As she begins to explore the island, she meets many animals along the way and discovers what living in the wild is all about.
“Hello, I am ROZZUM unit 7134, but you may call me Roz. While my robotic systems are activating, I will tell you about myself.”
At first, Roz is disliked by the wildlife population because they can’t figure out what she is–they’re more concerned about being eaten. On top of that, they also don’t understand her language. They call her a monster, but as time moves on they discover that Roz doesn’t eat and they warm up to her. We really enjoyed the parts where Roz observes and learns about kindness, including how to become friends with the animals on the island. She has a strong instinct to survive, but knows she’ll need help from those who are experienced. Roz is unique and seems to actually feel some human emotions which makes her incredibly interesting.
What I personally loved most about this story is the theme of family. Roz learns early on how to care for a newly hatched gosling and raises it as her own son. I’ve always felt strongly that family doesn’t have to be blood. Family to me is anyone you love and it’s all about loyalty. The most important thing is loving one another and having each other’s back. I felt this message throughout the entire book. I also feel that this story teaches responsibility while sharing the beauty of nature and its natural order. With that said, some younger children might be sensitive to the animal deaths that do occur, and I also found the ending quite emotional. My daughter and I have different feelings about the ending, but she’s gone on to read the second book and that might be why.
We were all captivated with the illustrations in between the text. The powerful illustrations and short chapters aid in keeping younger readers (like my five-year-old) engaged. Overall, this is a well-crafted, middle-grade story for kids with an omniscient narrator, interesting descriptions, and in a format that the whole family found visually stimulating. There wasn’t an abundance of excitement, but even so, it’s a great book. My 8-year-old has read it twice by herself and it’s one of her favorites. We spent hours drawing and creating different scenes with Roz which turned into a little art session. This was a fun experience and now I’ll move on to The Wild Robot Escapes.
- Age Range: 8 – 11 years
- Grade Level: 3 – 7
- Series: The Wild Robot (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; First Edition (stated) edition (April 5, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316381993
- ISBN-13: 978-0316381994
About the author:
Peter Brown is an American writer and illustrator who is best known for children’s picture books.
“Peter has always loved telling stories. Growing up in New Jersey, he told stories by drawing whimsical characters and scenes from his imagination. Then, as a teenager, he fell in love with writing, and told his tales with words. While studying illustration at Art Center College of Design, Peter’s love of both words and pictures led him to take several courses on children’s books, and before long he knew he’d found his calling.
After graduating from Art Center Peter moved to New York City to be closer to the publishing industry. He was working on animated TV shows when he signed a book deal to write and illustrate his first picture book, Flight of the Dodo. Peter quickly signed up his second and third books, and his career as an author and illustrator of children’s books was under way.
Peter’s books have earned him numerous honors, including a Caldecott Honor (2013) for Creepy Carrots!, two E.B. White Awards and an E.B. White Honor, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book award, a Children’s Choice Award for Illustrator of the Year, two Irma Black Honors, and five New York Times bestsellers.
Peter lives in Brooklyn, New York. —Source: Goodreads