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Little Robot

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  4,639 ratings  ·  516 reviews
Life outside the robot factory is confusing.

Little Robot has a lot to learn...

And that's what friends are for.

But with danger in the way, will friendship be enough to save them?
Hardcover, 135 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by First Second
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  4,639 ratings  ·  516 reviews

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Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another very impressive book by Ben Hatke.

Not just a delightfully good graphic novel that will be a delight for kids, but this one has a *very* minimal verbal content, which is exceptionally hard to pull off.

That said, the lack of a strong textual component means that this book is readable by even younger kids. So long as they've been exposed to some comics, I'd say most kids of 4-5 should be able to read this by themselves. And I wouldn't be surprised if a few precocious 3 year olds would enjoy
Steph Sinclair
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 create such memorable characters and beautiful artwork. After reading all of his works, I totally consider him an auto-buy-author for me.

Ben Hatke's books

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.
This story is just about wordless. There are lots of little robots in the story and they only make sounds. There is a little girl mechanic in the story fixing and befriending the robots and she says some things, but otherwise, it’s wordless.

The robots are very cute. My nephew loves robots so I gave him this story to read and he loved this cute story. He thought the robots looked like something he could build himself. He gave this 4 stars.

It’s a great way to get into graphic novels for youngster
First Second Books
Sep 01, 2015 marked it as first-second-publications
I think that Ben Hatke is just marvelous, and this is his best book yet!

I love that Ben gives us a story with this book about a girl who is an engineer. Bookish, dreaming protagonists are great, but it's also awesome to have stories about girls who are like, 'okay, I'm here for SCIENCE!' I feel like there are too few of those in our fiction today.

Also this whole book is just the adorablest!
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a cute little book - full of important life lessons!

The book has only panels, no text (except for the occasional noises the robots make or the girl's speech bubbles). This means that the reader (young and old) has to actually piece it together, which I find fantastic!
The story is about a little girl who apparently has no friends and doesn't go to school. One day she finds a little robot and they spend time together. There's a lot more which I will not give away but in general, this book is

It's not news to anyone who's hung around my blog/vlog for any length of time that I love the work of Ben Hatke. (Also not news to anyone who read that intro, so. . .)  I've talked about this many, many times, and pushed his books on many, many people, both online and IRL.  So of course, I'm always looking forward to whatever's coming up next, confident in the belief that whatever it is is sure to brighten my shelves.
And Little Robot is no exception to that rule.

Little Robot follows in t
Timothy Ward
Perfect blend of fun, humor, artistic beauty and action. As an adult I appreciate how Ben draws scenes I find quirky in the cuteness of the characters. These are great to read to children, especially because of the fun sounds we get to make from his words. Little Robot was a heartfelt tale of how a little girl can use her skills to help and make friends in the worst of scenarios.

Releases Sept 1 from First Second Books. Review copy provided by publisher.
Cameron Chaney
Little Robot is yet another children's graphic novel that I picked up while working on the Bookmobile. Being surrounded by books, I have this longing to read everything I can. Not just because it'll make me better at my job when it comes to recommending books to kids, but just because I wanna read them all, dangit!

Little Robot is nothing short of adorable. The story very much reminds me of The Iron Giant and Big Hero 6. It's pretty much the same story, so there's nothing particularly original he
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Four stars: A beautifully illustrated story with minimal words that will appeal to all ages.

One night, a large truck trundles over a bridge, on its way to deliver robots. An unexpected bump jars open the door and out plunges a box into the river. The next day, a precocious five year old girl, armed with her tool belt and wrench runs across the robot in the woods. When she presses its button, the robot comes alive. Though the two can't communicate with words, they quickly develop their own langu
Feb 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
A plot we have seen many times before: a robot who starts off innocent and relies on a human to gain new knowledge and insight on the world: The Iron Giant," "Short Circuit," or "Wall-E." A little girl discovers a lost, but curious robot and they explore and play together. But the robot wants to see more of his own kind and the girl tries to help until the mean recovery robot seizes her new friend. The artwork is designed for kids: cute and basic, but Hatke does a credible job capturing emotions ...more
After Gabe and I finished the Zita the Spacegirl trilogy, we decided to check out all the Ben Hatke works from the library to see if everything he writes is as charming.
So far, the answer is yes. Yes, he writes charming things.
Here's the source material for this tale:

Here we have a lonely girl, one who doesn't seem well-loved by her family, who has no friends but who does have a big imagination and a giant sense of adventure. She's also awfully good at ti
Jessica at Book Sake
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a glorious piece of original fiction. The storytelling is absolutely brilliant. I could really see parents sitting down with their kids, flipping though all the bold imagery from the brave girl and the cute robot to the menacing machinery. Little Robot hits on so many levels ranging from friendship and bravery, to right and wrong.

I mentioned the storytelling earlier and this is where the book really shines. The first few pages contain no words and I loved it. The imagery was so clear and
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I bought the ebook, but now I want a paper copy! The story was enchanting, working on several topics like friendship, loneliness or the need to be a part of something.

I really (like really) enjoyed the interactions between the little girl and the tiny robot. It was great to follow them while the robot discovered the "world". The story was quite calm and light at the beginning but moved to something more serious later, a thing I enjoyed because it was realistic and moving at the same time.
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a GR friend (Hi Zaz!) raved about this book, I decided to order it for my daughter. It finally arrived, and we read it together today. I'm not usually a fan of graphic novels, but this one works, and I think this style (mostly pictures & minimal words) really works well for kids that don't read (or that are learning to read). For my creative little lady, it's brilliant, as she can put her own words to it.

The story is sweet, and the illustration style is lovely. My daughter is thrilled at the
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Little Robot is a really great graphic novel, particularly for younger kids wanting to get into the genre. It has such sparse text (and when there are words, it’s mostly robot noises), and yet, Ben Hatke’s storytelling is so damn effective. I haven’t come across a mostly wordless graphic novel that worked so well since Sara Varon’s brilliant Robot Dreams (..ooh, maybe robots are the key to cracking my code).

It’s silly, heartwarming, and most importantly, a friendship story that’s a real winner.
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing, almost wordless story, of a little girl who doesn't fit in, doesn't go to school, and doesn't appear to have any friends.

This is also the story of a little robot, who is lost.

And the two find each other.

And have adventures.

And did I mention that the little girl likes to fix things, with the tools in her tool belt?

And did I mention that the little robot is being chased by something that wants it back?

Quick, beautiful read. Great story. Children of all ages would enjoy it.
Disclaimer: I'm a huge Ben Hatke fan. It would be difficult for me not to enjoy one of his creations.

This one is a friendship story with both mechanics and heart. Recommended for ages 6-8, all school library graphic novel collections and makes a great gift.

May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Sweet and adorable 15 minute read.
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Awwww.... cute. ...more
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read in two sittings with Evelyn (5) and Charlotte (3). They were both very into the story the whole time. It doesn't have a lot of words, but the pictures are very engaging. Highly recommend! ...more
Giselle Bradley
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ack. perfect. I love every single thing this guy does. Every single single thing.
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Little Robot was an extremely cute comic! Hatke surely knows how to make comics for kids and I've read others from him too. The art style is wonderfully simple and easy to follow considering that there's hardly any speech in the book. The pictures roll well without them, and I must congratulate Hatke for understanding the usage of blank space. Not everything happens in the panels, but behind and in between too. The flow is great and all in all the comic is easy to understand even without any act ...more
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
This was really good and I absolutely loved it. The lack of text was impactful in a way, and honestly, I think more text would have made the story worse. It's probably a tale that while good for kids and they would enjoy it, teens and adults would have more nostalgia with it.
I like how it was broken into chapters and in many ways it could be a good book for teaching story structure and summarizing.
It was really a beautiful story and I absolutely loved it.
Terribly cute and tooth-achingly sweet, Little Robot further solidified my love for Ben Hatke!

mini review is now up on the blog!
Jul 11, 2017 added it
Shelves: read-with-m-o, 2017
I read this with m&o. They were enthralled. It took about two days, but they really got into the storytelling. I think it's the best of the graphic novels I've tried on them so far.

And such a lovely story.
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gn
There are many things to like about this book. Non-white female tinkerer protagonist, cats, robots, junk piles, lots of drama and emotion, and humor. Adorbs.
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Really adorable, fun story. Minimal words, but maximum friendship. Delightful art paints a daring adventure. I can't wait to read it with my kiddo. ...more
Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This was cute, and pretty tolerable. I just don't love graphic novels. Even Maus was hard for me, so if I give a graphic novel a 3, it must be a pretty good one. ...more
Emily Sampson
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Did I cry? Yes.
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Spencer Riese's Review 9 1 2 May 07, 2020 11:43AM  

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Ben Hatke is an author and illustrator of graphic novels and picture books. Most notably he is the creator of the Zita the Spacegirl graphic novel series.

He posts art and stories online at:

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