Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell. September 2012. 9780763654757. Gr. 1-3
Rabbit is a planner. His friend Robot is visiting for a sleepover, and Rabbit has their evening carefully planned out. He is very excited for everything to go perfectly.
First on his list is making pizza, but it turns out that Robot likes nuts and bolts on his pizza rather than carrots and lettuce. No problem! Robot just takes apart Rabbit’s table to get what he needs for his pizza. But then where will they eat?! Robot has an answer for that, too. He spreads a blanket on the floor for a picnic. Lovely.
As the two friends try to follow Rabbit’s list, something always goes wrong. They can’t find the remote when it’s time to watch TV. Robot wants to play Old Maid rather than Go Fish. Then Robot’s batteries run out, and Rabbit has to figure out a solution. The story is full of humor, and it has an old-fashioned charm.
This is a good choice for early chapter book readers looking for a funny story about mismatched friends, but the mom in me loved that the book modeled problem solving and positivity for my 5-year-old. I recently read Paul Tough’s book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, and I couldn’t help but notice the connection between Rabbit and Robot’s interactions and the skills that Tough talks about in his book. Maybe you’ll see this book as a story about resilience and optimism (as I saw it) or maybe you’ll see it as about two friends dealing with silly situations (as my daughter saw it); either way, it’s a great choice for new chapter book readers.
If you’re interested in character ed, there are a few more suggestions in this post.