Friday, June 6, 2008

Robot Mom

My son is into robots lately. I brought him into the office with me today where he made a giant robot (his size) out of paper and Scotch® tape. He's quite the little inventor.

Today - perfect timing - we also received a copy of a book I bought for him called Mama Robot, written by Davide Cali and illustrated by AnnaLaura Cantone. Originally written in Italian, the text was translated by Marcel Danesi (published by Tundra Books).

The artwork is the first thing that captured my attention. A combination of sketches and digital images leap from the page and require a second look (there's a small key carried by the narrator on the first page and real silverware on the table setting).

There are also subtle details in the drawings that most readers won't think twice about but those that have keen observation skills will giggle over (the coffee mugs as the robot mom's breasts and the small grommets falling from the robot dog's behind on the last page).

As a single, working mom, I can imagine that my son has a lot in common with the little boy in the story. His mom is always working, always at her desk and he's continuously bored and wanting her attention.

He decides to make a new mom - Mama Robot - and talks about all the great things that would come of it: Mama Robot would never be too busy to spend time with me! She would never make me brush my teeth. She'd let me stay up late to watch scary movies and would never make me tidy up my room.

Our young protagonist finally realizes that he can't quite cuddle with Mama Robot and she doesn't smell quite the same as his real mom and so, he decides to take her apart and create a new companion. Moms are, after all, irreplaceable.

This is a wonderful book for parents and children, as it serves as a powerful reminder of what's important: quality time which truly is priceless.

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