RoboPup: Motordog by Kurt Cyrus
FLIP THE KID
FOUND MOTOR DOG
BY SCROLLING THROUGH
MOTOR DOG, PERFECT PET!
BUY IT ON THE INTERNET.
A kid with an iPad
under the blanket in bed....
placing orders from the 'Net.
Wonder what pet he'll get?
Flip wants a dog, but when his shipment arrives, it's not exactly a cute little Furby inside. Still, as he sets up his robo-pet, Flip has no idea what this botdog can do.
But he finds out soon enough. Out for a trial run--a harmless little walkin'-the-dog stroll down the sidewalk, Motor Dog spots Scoot the Cat and the chase is on. Scoot (true to his name) is fast enough to make it to the nearest tree first and climbs to a high limb. But Motor Dog unfurls his auxiliary jet pack and with a yank drags Flip, still manfully hanging on to the leash, up, up, and away in full chase.
As he soars, Flip tries to reprogram his pet with the remote in one hand.
"QUIT! REBOOT! DELETE!
ERROR! ERROR! ERROR!"
Motor Dog only sprouts a rotor for extra maneuverability among the branches. Scoot hunkers down. Flip hangs on, thumb feverishly searching for the right button.
"MALFUNCTION!" MINOR GLITCH!
UPLOAD? DOWNLOAD? WHICH? WHICH?"
Then things get really serious. Flip the Kid loses his grip on the leash and suddenly he's falling down and down through the limbs. Only Motor Dog has the speed to save him--IF he can reprogram himself from cat-catching to Flip-catching in time.
Kurt Cyrus' new runaway robot story, Motor Dog (Hyperion Books, 2014) has all the cyber-creature features that robot-loving readers could want--a loyal dog equipped with rockets, thruster boosters, rotors, and it seems, even a quick-deploying parachute to save the day. Written in robust rhymes with lots of wham-bam vocabulary, this fast-moving story comes with David Gordon's Marvel-comic retro styled illustrations filled with color and above all, motion. A vertical two-page spread shows the action from tree top to soft landing, and the ending gives a nod to the joys of conventional pet ownership, as Flip disables the whiz-bang functions and renames his robodog plain ol' Buddy! Not your average boy-and-his-dog tale, but one modern gadgeteers and dog lovers alike will favor.
Kirkus powers up for this one: "An amusing fable for the techno-savvy and Luddites alike."