Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell

I’ve been waiting and waiting for Cece Bell’s Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover and I’m glad to say it did not disappoint. My normal reading fare doesn’t usually contain as many early chapter books and easy readers as it has this fall. However, this year I’m lucky to be on the Cybils committee for those books so I’ve read my fair share. Bell’s Rabbit and Robot is one that I adore.

 Rabbit and Robot follows the story of two friends who are having a sleepover. Rabbit has created a list of things they need to do at this sleepover, and the order in which they should do them. Each chapter follows the friends as they check one more item on the list.

As I read this book I was continually reminded of another pair of friends whom star in an early chapter book series – Frog and Toad. I loved the Frog and Toad books growing up, and as teacher in the lower grades as well. I thought they were the perfect characters to teach – my students and I had wonderful conversations about the two friends. Rabbit and Robot gave me the same feeling as Frog and Toad did, and I immediately wanted to share the story.

The first child who read it was my son, Liam. We were early for the bus stop outside my school so he and I took turns reading each page. After about ten minutes of reading I noticed I had a larger than average group of children gathered around me listening as we read the book. I smiled as a middle school student asked me if I was going to finish. A good story transcends the age it is written for – and this book does just that.

In my classroom Rabbit and Robot is on display with the other books for the November Sharp-Schu book club. Fifth graders are in love with this book and clamoring for more. Their expression when I tell them that this isn’t a series (yet, I hope) is priceless.

I highly recommend the purchase of Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover. It is the perfect early chapter book.