Call them droids, androids, automatons, or bots, robots are often the center of the story and star of the show. Sometimes robots are so similar to us it’s uncanny, and sometimes they couldn’t be more different. Robots spark imagination in young minds, and robot stories for kids are as popular as ever.
Here we collect some of our favorite robot story books for kids. We’ve got a range of picture books, first readers, and chapter books about robots ready to go. Let’s explore!
by Sue Fliess
Illustrated by Bob Staake
“On the ground and in the air, robots, robots, everywhere!” These are the words that started our son’s fascinations with robots. One look around the house, and yes, they really are everywhere. (Especially one the floor. Late at night. The ones that hurt the most when stepped on.)
This is a cute and colorful book with an easy to read rhyme that kids love to follow along with. After enough times through, they’ll be able to say the words with you. (I confess, I’ve read this enough times to have it memorized.)
The last page features a robot tucked snuggly into bed, which make this a great book to wind down with at bedtime. We went through phase reading this to our youngest where he would say goodnight to the robot, then hop down and start toddling over to his bed. It was a cute routing and made transitioning to bedtime easy. (At least for a little while.)
by Ame Dyckman
Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
This is a charming
story about a young boy who happens upon a robot while playing. They become fast friends and enjoy having
some adventures until the robot bumps his power switch and shuts down. Helping as best as he know how, he takes the
robot home and tries to comfort him as he would another child, but nothing
seems to help. He tucks the robot in and
goes to bed.
When the robots power switch is bumped on during the night, the robot wakes to find the boy sleeping and unresponsive. The robot tries to help the boy as he best know how. He takes him home and tries oiling his joints and attempting to change his battery.
When the boy wakes up and they both realize the other is okay, they are delighted. We get a happy ending as the robot’s inventor returns the boy home. The Boy and Bot adventures resume the following day.
What struck us about this story is the compassion both the boy and robot showed. The parallels of how they used their own world view and tried to help each other in a time of need. They discovered what works for one may not directly apply to the other. The robot wasn’t sleeping, he was powered down. The boy didn’t need a new battery, he just needed some rest. We’re all a little bit different, but we can still be friends..
The illustrations are cute and suit the story, and the bright red robot stands out in most of the scenes. The play montages are fun, and the last page has a Calvin and Hobbes flavor as the boy and bot walk off into the sunset together. You just know there are more adventures ahead.
by James Dean
Pete the Cat wants to play, but all of his friends are too busy. Does Pete Cry? Goodness no! He decides to make a robot playmate instead. Pete’s new robot friend is good, though maybe a little too good. Pete gets more than he bargained for! The robot wears him out in catch, homes right in on him during hide and seek, and ruins some of Pete’s favorite activities.
Pete decides to turn things around and have the robot do the chores his friends had to do instead. Now that the robot is doing all the work, his friends are free to play. This is what Pete wanted in the first place. Everyone wins! (Well, except maybe the robot .)
This robot storybook is in the definitive Pete the Cat style, and shows us that we can use technology to innovate and solve problems. Sometimes things don’t turn out as we planned, and we need to reframe the problem to get the results we want. When Pete realized his robot didn’t make a good playmate, he shifted the focus and had the robot do chores so his friends could play instead.
by David Milgrim
This easy to read book hits it in the sweet spot on so many levels. The words are arranged in repeated patterns so it’s easy for kids to recognize “See Otto…” from page to page. After one read through at story time, our son could practically read the book back to us.
As we meet Otto, he is looking through a telescope missing his family and home. He builds a rocket jetpack and launches skyward.
As happens so often with experiments and DIY projects, things don’t always go as planned. As Otto’s rocket sputters and loses control, we have the opportunity to follow his trajectory in a fun and easy read along adventure. Until his rocket crashes and he realizes that this was home all along.
With a small pallet of words, Milgrim conveys a sense of longing and love, as well as some humor. We get the concept of “failure” in that Otto’s rocket doesn’t work and he comes crashing back to Earth. We also get the lesson to appreciate the things you already have, because sometimes that’s all you need.
Go, Otto, Go! Is a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book. You can see more of New York Times bestselling author/illustrator David Milgrim in the Adventures of Otto series, or grab the Otto collection in this Collectors Set.
by Dave Pilkey
Illustrated by Dan Santat
Ricky is a little mouse waiting for something BIG to happen. When he saves a giant Mighty Robot from an evil scientist, the robot becomes Ricky’s friend. The robot helps clean up around home and escorts Ricky to school and deters bullies. Life is good.
Except that the evil scientist creates a giant lizard to terrorize the city. Good thing Ricky and his Mighty Robot are ready to save the day!
This is a cool book that combines elements of storybook, comics, and animated flip book. The format changes flow well and move the story forward. The exposition happens in story book mode, with simple and easy to read pages. Action sequences switch to a comic book panel format which lends itself well to the pacing. The climactic battle features a “Flip-O-Rama” animated flip book style which enhances the action.
The artwork is sharp and colorful and adds to the fun quality of the book. Our kids enjoyed the giant robot and lizard monster and couldn’t wait to turn the pages (especially for the animated flip-o-rama.)
Check out the rest of the series!
by Katie Van Camp and Lincoln Agnew
Harry is a boy with a wild imagination. With his stuffed companion Horsie, he embarks on exciting adventures throughout the Harry and Horsie series.
In Cookiebot! Harry wants a snack. When he realizes the cookie jar is, for some reason, all the way on the top of the refrigerator, he devises a plan. He builds a robot that can reach the cookies. What could possibly go wrong?
Once Cookiebot has a taste of cookies, he can’t get enough. After emptying the cookie jar, he heads out into the city for more! Harry and Horsie save the day, and topple the giant Cookiebot before he can do too much damage.
The art is top notch and the primary-only color scheme give the feel of old school Sunday comics. The last page is a treat to see Harry in a homemade robot suit siting in the middle of a toppled Lego brick city with a spilled cookie jar.
You can check out the original Harry and Horsie book as well. Harry and Horsie features some robot cameos in the background, though the main story focuses on how Harry heroically rescues Horsie from the moon.
by Timothy Bush
Benjamin’s parents head out for the night and leave him in the care of his robot babysitter. Not happy with his 8:00 bedtime, Benjamin reprograms the robot for “fun.” Under the new programming, they play games, read books, have snacks, and have “fun” until Benjamin is tired and wants to go to bed. This goes against the robot’s new programming. The robot won’t let Benjamin go to bed and forces him to have fun. It builds more robots for more fun, and things get out of control. Check out the book to find how Benjamin get things back under control.
Books are fun. They never need batteries.
Benjamin McFadden and the Robot Babysitter has a Sorcerer’s Apprentice kind of feel where plans go awry and the struggle is to just get things back the way they were. The takeaway lessons are “be careful what you wish for” and there is “too much of a good thing.”
The artwork is wonderfully whimsical and worth paging through just to look at the pictures.
by Jon Scieszka and David Shannon
Robot Zot comes to Earth for conquest, and has an adventure in typical household. The diminutive conqueror battles his way through the kitchen defeating blenders and toaster, and works his way to blast the television. He finds love in a toy that appears in need of rescue, and his nemesis in the family dog.
Robot Zot makes an escape with his newly liberated love, and the poor family dog is left to answer for the mess.
We came for the story and stayed for the artwork. The story is cute, and the stylistic paintings are a joy.
Wrap Up – Robot Story Books for Kids
We hope you enjoyed these robot stories as much as we did. We found some wonder for the future, compassion, and friendship. Harry and Horsie took us on some imaginative adventures, and Ricky Ricotta and his robot delivered some action.
Some of our robot stories had some object lessons; Benjamin McFadden and Pete the Cat showed us we can use technology to solve problems, though things don’t always go as planned.
Which robot storybook was your favorite (or your kids)?
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