Robopop by Alice Hemming and James Lent

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Robopop by Alice Hemming and James Lent

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Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: Be careful what you wish for is the message in this book where two children get more than they bargained for.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: January 2015
Publisher: Maverick Arts Publishing
ISBN: 978-1848861664

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Some say the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill. Others say better the devil you know. Dylan and Daisy don’t say either of these things, but the sentiment is there. Other people’s fathers are much better / funnier / more normal than their dad. Why can’t he be more like everyone else? The thing is, their dad is an inventor of sorts, so well placed to teach them a lesson they’ll never forget. Welcome Robopop, a robot dad in a box! He’s going to babysit Dylan and Daisy for the afternoon…if they last that long.

This is a fun, original, inventive book about appreciating what you have. Robopop is, on the face of it, everything the kids want. He likes football. He’s punctual. He’s into winning. But… he might, possibly, perhaps be a little over the top. Maybe? As a robot he’s programmed to succeed and not to deviate from the plan. There are nuances he cannot pick up on, accommodations he cannot make. When dinner time rolls around and he serves up spinach (yuk!) but no pudding, as the meal of champions, Daisy and Dylan start to question whether actually their own father wasn’t quite a good one after all.

This is a unique book in many ways, not least the absence of a mother throughout. Nothing’s really said, but dad is in charge and there’s no one else about. That’s kind of nice. There are lots of families that don’t have the traditional parent set up that’s so often the go-to representation in books. I liked the way dad keeps popping up in the pictures too, even when he’s supposed to be off out. He’s not on every page but it’s fun to see who can spot him first when he does appear.

Robopop speaks in rhyme which is also a little different because the rest of story is just plain prose. I thought the text, and the concepts, in this book were above those of a traditional picture book, and this would be a great book for reading alone as it’s fun but not too difficult to understand. There are some flourishes too, like the way Robopops’s words change into a digital font which really fit with the theme.

I would recommend this clearly unisex book – it’s a bit silly but the kids will love it, and it reminded me somewhat of The Demon Headmaster by Gillian Cross but for a younger audience, introducing the idea that if you get a weird a teacher or in this case a babysitter, things can go terribly wrong.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.

Winnie's Big Bad Robot by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul is worth a look too.

Buy Robopop by Alice Hemming and James Lent at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Robopop by Alice Hemming and James Lent at

Buy Robopop by Alice Hemming and James Lent at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Robopop by Alice Hemming and James Lent at


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