Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover, by Cece Bell, 56 pp, RL
Beginning reader books, the good ones anyway, seem to center around two friends. Friends who are usually opposites. I always think that this friend quota has been filled (Frog & Toad, George & Martha, Elephant & Piggie, Benny & Penny, Dodsworth & Duck) and then someone comes up with a new pair. With her book Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover, Cece Bell has created a fantastic new beginning reader duo that even subverts (mostly) the predominant odd couple set-up where one friend is reasonable and rational and the other is a neurotic. Rabbit and Robot's humor and drama functions more on the premise that these two friends are the same and different, with Bell flip-flopping these rolls in various chapters.
Taking a page from Frog & Toad, Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover begins with a simple premise: Robot is sleeping over at Rabbit's house and Rabbit has made a list of four things for them to do over the course of the evening. Each item on the list represents a chapter - 1. Make pizza, 2. Watch TV, 3. Play Go Fish, 4. Go to bed. Each item on the list brings it's own dilemma. Topping the pizzas finds Rabbit wanting carrots, snow peas and lettuce and Robot wanting nuts and bolts. When Rabbit says he ha no nuts and bolts, Robot uses his magnet hands to find some around the house. However, he disassemble the table and chairs in doing so. But, these two friends find a good way to work things out - in every chapter, not matter what the crisis. I can't wait to read more about these buddies.
Source: Review Copy