The artwork was really pretty, but that about covers all the positives. The story had a lot of problems: gendered language, didn't care for the treatmThe artwork was really pretty, but that about covers all the positives. The story had a lot of problems: gendered language, didn't care for the treatment of the female characters (why must they always be half naked while the men get clothes??), the plot relied heavily on shock value, and it just wasn't very interesting.
I found most of the characters to be annoying, especially Marik and his complete 180 personality flip at the halfway point. He goes from being a super pessimistic loner to someone who could rival Spongebob's "I'm ready!" mentality, and I just didn't buy that.
The plot was a jumble of ideas that never really found its purchase with me, floundering around in an ocean listlessly. Where did the plot want to go? Was it lost? I think so. The running theme of "keep hope alive" was cute, but became tiring as the book went on. It's almost like this story was written on the "hope" that it would be good. Sadly, that's not how writing works.
When I was asked to join the the Dr. Seuss blog tour, I had no idea I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! even existed. Dr. Seuss has more books out that I canWhen I was asked to join the the Dr. Seuss blog tour, I had no idea I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! even existed. Dr. Seuss has more books out that I can keep track of and I shamefully have only read his more popular works like The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham. It was the same for my husband, so we sat down together last night and I read him a little bedtime story. It's amazing how no matter how old you get, you can still appreciate the simplicity of a Dr. Seuss book.
I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! features three stories: the book's namesake, King Looie Katz and The Glunk that Got Thunk. Each are told in the same tone you'd expect from Seuss with a good measure of silliness for fun. This isn't an I Can Read! early reader's book, so a really young child would still need assistance with these stories.
I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! showed its age with the main character occasionally saying he could "beat up" the tigers. Would a modern Childrens' book contain something like that today? I'm doubtful. It caused a little confusion because I thought he was trying to lick them, but whatever. Maybe I'm trying to apply too much logic to a Dr. Seuss book which is obviously ridiculous. Still, I ended up enjoying the book as a whole and it brought on some sweet, sweet nostalgia!
My personal favorite of the three was The Glunk that Got Thunk because it's perfect for reading out loud, made up words and all. And so my husband recorded this for your enjoyment!
I really think I'm physically incapable of giving Ben Hatke's books anything less than 5 stars. The reasons for this being that Hatke continues to creI really think I'm physically incapable of giving Ben Hatke's books anything less than 5 stars. The reasons for this being that Hatke continues to create such memorable characters and beautiful artwork. After reading all of his works, I totally consider him an auto-buy-author for me.
Not only are his books enjoyable for myself as an adult, but my kids absolutely love his works too. What makes Hatke's books stand out for me the most is that each of his main characters have been of different races. Sometimes it can be difficult to find this in childrens' books, so you have no idea how good it feels when you hear your daughter say, "Hey! She looks just like me!" Tears, guys. Tears.
Not only do his books feature diverse characters, but they feature strong female heroines who have super fun adventures like traveling through space, imaginary creatures, and the newest edition: a female mechanic!
But on to the review! Little Robot is a charming story about friendship and accepting differences. Our heroine is a very capable kid who doesn't exactly fit in with other kids her age. She enjoys fixing objects and creating new and improved versions things. Meanwhile, there is a little robot who has escape an assembly line and somehow their paths cross. And, thus, two unlikely friends become the best of friends. Through the book, their friendship changes. Our characters learn boundaries and how to deal with disagreements and acceptance.
In fact, I really loved the friendship between the characters because it was an issue my own kids could relate to. They could easily keep up with the pace of the story and tell when a character was "being mean" or "not being very nice," according to my kids. The simple, yet candid storytelling was an instant hit for us and provided a good discussion on what it means to be a good friend.
The illustrations in Little Robot is nothing short of breathtaking. But this is no surprise to me as I've been a huge fan of Hatke's art for a long time now. What I loved best were the full spreads with vivid colors. It was a great way to tell the story without actual words -- something that is great for my 5-year-old since he is not yet a reader. (The one thing my kids did seem to notice right from the start was the main character's lack of pants! Hehe.)
It kept him interested and we'd frequently stay on those pages and just admire the artwork. Likewise, the text was very simple and is perfect for early readers. My 7-year-old was able to read the entire book on her own.
All in all, this is another fantastic book from Hatke. If you have little readers in your home or enjoy picture books yourself, I would definitely recommend this one!
Review copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review.
The artwork is breathtaking and I just couldn't look away from it. What's even cooler is that a different artist illustrates for each new chapter. HigThe artwork is breathtaking and I just couldn't look away from it. What's even cooler is that a different artist illustrates for each new chapter. Highly recommended, especially if you are a fan of the original book.