The Wild Robot

Our trip to visit children and grandchildren included plans to read aloud The Wild Robot Escapes, by Peter Brown.  It is brand new, and the sequel to The Wild Robot, an outstanding book and one of my absolute favorites.

Within a few hours of arriving, I was ready to read aloud and so were the children– ages 10, 8, and 6.  Hubby wanted to listen, too.  But, things did not go as expected. Not at all.

We got to the end of chapter one, page four. The last sentences read:

“But this was no ordinary robot. This was ROZZUM unit 7134.  You might remember her old life on a remote, wild island.  Well, Roz’s new life was just about to begin.”

The eight-year-old asked, “Who is Roz?  What was the wild island?”

He hadn’t read the book.  Neither had the six-year-old.  Like me, the ten-year-old had not only read the book, she knew it ranked among the best.  I explained Roz and also the island to her siblings, with a brief overview of the story. That only led to more questions. At last she said, “Grammy, let’s read the first book.”  Yes!”, shouted her siblings. So, we snuggled in to read The Wild Robot.

The book is just as exciting and perhaps better, when reading it the second time around. That’s what happens with good books.  They’re meant to be read again and again.

Roz is a robot, one of many, assembled and packed into crates, and put on a cargo ship. The ship crashes and sinks, and only five crates wash ashore onto an island. All eventually break apart except the crate that contains Roz. Curious otters accidentally activate the robot, and thus begins the story. Roz slowly learns about the island and the inhabitants.  It is with great trepidation that the animals get to know Roz and begin to except her as anything but a monster.

“Grammy, why are the other animals so mean to Roz?  She likes them.  She’s nice,” asked the six-year-old.

A question that is music to my ears. It opens the door to talking about diversity and acceptance.

The book builds on Roz and the island and the animals, starting with the last surviving gosling egg– Roz accidentally killed the two geese and their eggs.  Relationships develop with different animals in a way that incorporates adventure and also life lessons into the story.  The reader feels strong ties with Roz and has a sense of understanding nature and the way of the world. A cliff hanger ending is perfect.  The Wild Robot is adventure, nature, diversity, robots, and animals all wrapped up into one great story.

Amazon’s 5-star review calls the book “Wall-E meets Hatchet“:

“When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island.  She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is–but she knows she needs to survive.  After battling a fierce storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island’s unwelcoming animal inhabitants.

As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home–until, one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes pack to haunt her.  A heartwarming and action-packed novel about what happens when nature and technology collide.”

We went to Barnes & Noble the next day. Look what we saw:

Both books were displayed together.  Next visit, The Wild Robot Escapes will be our read aloud.  Can’t wait!


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in Book Review, chapter reading, children's books, Diversity, Early Education, Imagination, Kindness, Nature, reading aloud, reading aloud and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to The Wild Robot

  1. Terrific story, Jennie. Your grandkids are very fortunate to have you.

  2. How wonderful that your grandchildren want you to still read to them. Nothing could be better. Glad you were able to find book one.

  3. Jennie, I love the way you keep featuring books that I don’t know. I thought I knew most of the great books. You are like a magician.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Robbie. I feel the same way about the books you feature. Typically I don’t know them either. It must be be because we live in different countries and our books don’t often ‘cross the ocean’ so to speak. Just a wild guess. Michael would LOVE The Wild Robot! Has he read Hatchet?

      • Hi Jennie, no, Hatchet is not a book I am familiar with. I will look it up on Amazon us. I do agree that books are quite cultural. My family is of English extraction so the books I grew up with are mainly English writers.

      • Jennie says:

        Hatchet is every twelve-year-old boy’s favorite. I promise Michael will love it. Interesting how cultural books can be. A shame, I think.

  4. beetleypete says:

    I had never heard of these two books, and you make them sound magical indeed. When my grandson is a little older, I will get them for him.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  5. Sounds like the kids had some great questions!! I love hearing how children respond to books for them. There’s no better test for anything than to run it passed a child! You’ll definitely get complete honesty and no holds barred if you missed something or didn’t explain something well! 💖💖

  6. srbottch says:

    Jennie, sounds like a wonderful book that even adults would enjoy. Your photo with your grandchildren is priceless.

  7. Hi, Jennie, How wonderful that you have this memorable time with your grandchildren! You might enjoy Peter Brown’s story of how he created The Wild Robot Escapes. I always think it’s interesting to know the “story behind the story”. Thank you for sharing your sweet story! – Susan

  8. Ritu says:

    I’ve not heard of these books Jennie!
    I hope to be a granny reader in the future!!!!

  9. I’ve got both of these in our library’s collection, but I’ve yet to read them. I’ll have to fix that. Good to know that the books are good for six-year-olds, too; and so much fun to see you reading to your grandkids!

    • Jennie says:

      Thanks, Marcia. You will love the books! I’m halfway through Escape and can hardly put it down. I read the first one to my library group last year, first and second graders. They’re still talking about it. Glad you liked the pic with the grandkids. 🙂

  10. Ah Robot-Stories…how wonderful to find them in the pages of a well-written book, captivating this gen in literature as well as technology.
    You’re a great granma!

    • Jennie says:

      Yes, it is wonderful. I loved Amazon’s review, nature colliding with technology, “Wall-E” meeting “Hatchet”. Thank you, Laura. Reading a great story aloud to grandchildren doubles the pleasure of a good book.

  11. John Fioravanti says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Jennie. It is amazing how reading aloud to children awakens and ignites their curiosity and imagination!

  12. Jennie, your description of the visit alone is a pure delight. I enjoyed hearing about the books too. TGIF hugs!

  13. L. Marie says:

    Really glad to see this post. I read The Wild Robot, but was afraid to give it to a six-year-old because I wasn’t sure if he would find what happened to the robot (and the robots at the beginning of the book) too scary. But I see that I shouldn’t have doubted that small child would love this book.

    • Jennie says:

      I’m so glad that you can reconsider giving this book to a six-year-old. It wasn’t scary to a child; it was actually more curious and interesting. And that sparked the interest throughout the book. Very well written, as you know. Thanks!

  14. Tina Frisco says:

    Thank you for introducing us to Roz, Jennie. Another addition to my children’s TBR, which will be shared with the quads and trips ❤

  15. Couldn’t agree more about the best books needing to be read more than once! 😊

    • Jennie says:

      Yes! Parents may think otherwise and not realize it’s a big deal, but children want to hear the stories over and over. And that’s a good thing! Thank you, Sarah.

  16. Darlene says:

    Those grandkids are sure lucky to have you for a grandmother. Of course, you are lucky to have them as well.

  17. jofox2108 says:

    I’m going to have to check out the “Wild Robot” books! The children at school will love them!

  18. dgkaye says:

    What a treat that was for you Jennie. You’re always teaching and inspiring your students, it’s even more beautiful you have that with your grandkids who evidently share your passion for books. 🙂 xx

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