The Wild Robot
by Peter Brown (2016)
“I was just a machine. I functioned. But you – my friends and my family – you taught me how to live.”
A strange and wonderful tale from renowned (and Caldecott-winning) artist, Peter Brown. A novel about a robot marooned on a mysterious island filled with life and nature – flora and fauna – and no one else.
Brown has concocted a robot story in an unusual setting with unusual challenges. What purpose does a robot have without humans to serve? How will she survive in the wild? How will she adapt to animals that don’t understand her purpose? How will they adapt to her?
Brown’s story is mysterious and each new chapter takes the robot – Roz – deeper into her discovery and understanding of the natural world. Slowly, gradually, eventually, Roz becomes immersed and enmeshed in a symbiotic relationship with the animals and habitat on the island.
Brown’s prose is clean and inviting. Readers and listeners begin uncertain of what kind of robot Roz is and what kind of tale this will be. But soon they will be rooting for Roz and her animal companions, wary of threats from the natural world, and hopeful that machine and animals can find ways to survive – together.
Roz, the protagonist, has a heart to serve, and she slowly finds ways to help each of the animals on the island. In doing so, she finds her purpose in life. The animals, in turn, teach Roz the rewards of friendship and she learns to live, not merely to survive.
All robots were built to serve and be useful, but Roz will learn to communicate with wild animals, save an island from a harsh winter, adopt a gosling, and discover what it means to be happy. She is a special robot and thru Brown’s artistry she will earn a special place in reader’s hearts.
Families will be enamored with Roz’s story of perseverance and unselfish love as she finds her purpose and discovers the importance of friends and family. Peter Brown’s simply stated story entertains and invites deep thought about what it means to be alive, what makes a life worth living, and how important it is to help others.