In this short illustrated chapter book, new readers will giggle along with Robot and Rabbit as they compromise their way through one of childhood’s milestones: the sleepover. Unlikely friends, these two have different ideas about spontaneity, food, games and sleep.

Rabbit is the host of the sleepover and he has made a thorough list and insists on following it, no matter what. The first order of business is to “Make pizza.” Easy enough, until it turns out that these two friends have very different taste buds. Rabbit prefers fresh veggies while Robot loves anything attractive to his magnet hands, especially the nuts and bolts that hold together Rabbit’s furniture. Watching TV is difficult when Rabbit cannot find the remote control, playing Go Fish is impossible when Robot loses power, and going to sleep is made more interesting (and funny) when Robot forgets his pajamas.

Illustrations, in gentle greens and purples, add to the story. When Robot’s magnet hands grab the pizza toppings, alert readers will notice something new in Rabbit’s ear. The thing is there for a few pages, unnoticed, until it is revealed to be the missing remote! Robot in pajamas is also calculated for humor. The pajamas are hooded, transforming the rectangular Robot’s head into a hilarious egg-shape.

An engaging, well-paced story, told with simple (but not too simple) vocabulary is tough to write, but Cece Bell has nailed Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover. Let’s hope it’s the first of a series.

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