Bot Bash: Robot Rumpus by Sean Taylor
With Mary Poppins apparently already engaged, two parents opt for robot child care from the new Schott catalog so that they can head out for a night on the town. Dressed to the nines, they trip out the door, waving blithely, leaving their daughter in the care of cutting-edge new babysitting bots.
MOM SAID, "THEY'RE THE LATEST MODELS.
WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?"
Famous last words. All goes well at first. Cook-Bot stirs up a passable pot of spaghetti, and Clean-Bot does up the dishes all spic and span. Wash-Bot runs a warm bath, and the girl prepares to step in.
I GOT MY BATH TOYS DOWN OFF THE SHELF.
BUT THAT'S WHEN THE RUMPUS BEGAN.
WASH-BOT WAS AFRAID OF MY TOY CROCODILE.
The automatons run amok. Tooth-Bot squirts the toothpaste wildly into the loo, Dry-Bot blow-dries everyone, and Dress-Bot puts pajamas on Book-Bot. In the middle of the melee, Cook-Bot appears to fill the tub with gallons of spaghetti. Their circuits clearly crossed, the rest of the robots finally fritz out, and collapse on the parents' bed, ensuring that Mom and Dad's big night out will be a l-o-o-o-n-g one.
Next time they want to party, the parents should borrow Rosy from the Jetsons!
In yet another takeoff on the sorcerer's apprentice premise, (in which the enchanted broom can't stop carrying pails of water until the magician's castle is flooded), Sean Taylor's Robot Rumpus (Anderson Press, 2013) gives the runaway gizmo storyline another go. Although it's no competition for Tomie dePaola's Caldecott classic, Strega Nona, in which noodle-head Big Anthony tries out the forbidden magic pasta pot and fills the town with spaghetti, Taylor's bumbling bot tale is ingeniously illustrated by Ross Collin's wittily inventive robots which will definitely switch on kids' autonomic giggle boxes.
Charge up the giggle batteries with this one along with Mac Barnett's funny and Frankensteinian Oh No!: Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World (see review here) or John Scieszka and David Shannon's Robot Zot! (review here).