Review Blog

Mar 12 2012

The Robot Blues by Sally Rippin

cover image

Hey Jack! series. Hardie Grant Egmont, 2012. ISBN: 9781742971278.
Recommended for ages 5+. The very creative Jack has made his own costume to attend the birthday party of a friend from soccer. Up until the time for his departure arrives, he is excited and happy. Last minute nerves, however, leave Jack feeling 'wobbly'. Not only does he become nervous about his home made costume, he is aware that he won't know anyone else at the party. His mother jollies him along, using robot voices to encourage him. As they sit in the car and watch some of the other guests arrive, Jack is very aware that he will be different - the only child in a costume which is not store bought. Will he survive the festivities or go home feeling even more embarrassed?
Rippin cleverly achieves in this series, for boys, much the same as she does for girls in her Billie B Brown books. She takes a situation to which all children can relate, and considers the characters' emotions, actions and possible outcomes. Her messages to children are positive and filled with encouragement. With the large typeface and spacing and a multitude of illustrations, this title would be accessible to many emergent readers as well as lending itself to be used as a read aloud text in a classroom situation. It would be a great starting point when discussing creativity, the different talents which children may have, accepting others and overcoming personal fears.
Jo Schenkel

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