Robot Dreams by Sara Varon
This is a wordless graphic novel about a dog and a robot. It is both adorable and sad. It's one of those books that makes you feel all the things.
Living in an animal version of our world, Dog builds himself a robot. The pair has such fun. A series of events and choices lead to their separation, and as the story progresses we are privvy to the robot's dreams. His imagined scenarios are denoted by wavy edged panels.
When I say the book is wordless, I mean that it has no dialog. There are, in fact, some words among the pictures. We're clued in to the library because it says "Library" out front, etc. Time passes and we get labels like "Two months later."
The book is appropriate for all ages. I read it with Benjamin, who is currently three years old. (He also loves Sara Varon's Bake Sale). He was attentive through the whole book and I pointed to panels and turned the pages, also explaining the action.
Benjamin was not quite satisfied with the ending -- it's a complex one, and that's something that I appreciate about the book. Together we got to talk about how the ending has its advantages. It was an exercise in perspective-taking.
Friendship and estrangement, betrayal and forgiveness, consideration and selfishness all play a part. Couched in Varon's gorgeous pastel illustrations, the story really is beautiful.
Alysa: Benjamin do you remember this book?
Benjamin: No. Yes! That's the one that we have!
What did you think of it?
Um, It's great! It was great, it was great, it was great, great, great!
Would you like to read it again?
No, thank you mommy.
Because I want to keep watching my movie.
It's just as well, since we've returned it to the library. :)