Robot Zombie Frankenstein by Annette Simon

Above all else, Robot Zombie Frankenstein! by Annette Simon is fun. Fun to read out loud, fun to look at and especially fun to see the reactions on listeners' faces as you read. Besides having robots, which I love and do not find in picture books as often as I would like, the plot of Robot Zombie Frankenstein! escalates to a fever pitch of competitive frenzy and suspense that kids love in a picture book - think any/all of Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie books.

First of all, the endpapers for Robot Zombie Frankenstein! are a fantastic assortment of crisp and colorful parts and pieces, all labeled, and all good for building (or costuming) a robot. I can just picture a young reader poring over these pages and maybe even being inspired to make a collage-robot of her or his own!

The story begins with two robots and the text, "Robot. Robot." Simon keeps it simple, but fast paced, with commentary from the competing robots in smaller, grey text. The appearance of Robot Zombie prompts purple robot to mutter, "Yikes. Robot reboot . . ."

Green Robot Zombie inspires Purple Robot Zombie Frankenstein ("Horrors! Recompute . . .") and the costuming ramps up, as does the size of the text. And, as with every good picture book that has an escalating story, there is a page where the characters face off (think Jon Klassen's superb I Want My Hat Back.) For the climax, Robot Zombie Frankenstein Pirate Superhero-in-disguise Outer Space Invader Chef tops off the competition with . . . PIE! Green Robot returns with a fork and the two 'bots are buddies again.

As a nifty little aside, besides being an author and illustrator, Annette Simon is a fellow bookseller! Annette works at The BookMark in Neptune Beach, Florida. Below are some super fun images from a book signing/launch party she did there last month!

ROBOT ZOMBIE FRANKENSTEIN! Copyright © 2012 by Annette Simon. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

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