The Little Wooden Robot & the Log Princess

The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess is a fun and fabulous fairytale written and illustrated by Tom Gauld.

What an intriguing cover— it feels like a magical seek and find right from the start. Then we move to the incredible end pages and I now have very high hopes for loving this book.

The premise is simple. It’s a fairy tale. There is, however, an ease and comfort in that. We sort of know what to expect from the moment we read the cliche “There once lived a king and queen…”. It’s not a surprise when they desperately want a child.

The king asks the royal inventor for one, and the queen consults a witch. The royal couple are as happy as can be with their two “wood-related” siblings. The slight catch is that the Log Princess turns into a log when she falls asleep and must be awoken by some magic words. This doesn’t cause a problem until the Wooden Robot forgets to wake up his sister and she is lost in a sea of firewood. Thus begins his quest to find her.

The synopsis that I have just given you could loosely fit many beloved fairy tales. And yet, the brilliance of Tom Gauld’s tale is his expert storytelling. Both with his words and with his intricate illustrations.

That same classic fable theme carries into the artwork. His use of decorative borders, insets, and sidebars, is very inviting and refreshing. We don’t need to wonder where to look next, we read each page visually just the way the story teller would like us to. Each page overflows with information and little extras. The designs and layouts are very smart, intelligent, thoughtful, just brilliant.

The story is brimming with bits of fun and whimsical details. I don’t want to tell you about my favorite little surprise characters and give anything away. You will know what I’m talking about when you read the book.

The siblings care for each other deeply and are very kind. The diverse characters that are portrayed feel natural and not contrived.

One of my favorite bits that Tom Gauld has given us is a series of ‘adventures that didn’t happen’ for both the Princess and the Robot. These are hilarious and I would love to hear young readers expand on those titles and make up incredible stories of their own. Personal favorite— “The Baby in a Rosebush”.

I want to thank my author friend, Tess, for recommending this book to me. It has lots of fun wordplay and wittiness on many different levels.

The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess is a warm, detailed, and intriguing adventure that I would like to go on again and again.

Jennifer Black Reinhardt

Jennifer is the illustrator and author of several acclaimed picture books. Most recently is Always by My Side, 'A Stuffie Story', which she wrote and illustrated. She also is both the author and illustrator of Playing Possum, and Blue Ethel. Jennifer illustrated Gondra’s Treasure, written by Newbery award winner Linda Sue Park. As well as, Sometimes You Fly, by Newbery medalist, Katherine Applegate. She illustrated Yaks Yak, Animal Word Pairs by Linda Sue Park, The Inventor's Secret, What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford, by Suzanne Slade, Rabbi Benjamin's Buttons, by Alice B. McGinty, and The Adventures of a South Pole Pig, by Chris Kurtz.

20 Comments:

  1. I’m excited to read this book. I love fairy tales and the illustrations are amazing. I have to find out how Robot and Princess find one another again! Thanks for sharing, Jennifer!

  2. Such a fun fairy tale. Thanks for sharing Jennifer. Congrats Tom.

  3. This is a very intriguing concept. I just put it on hold at my library. Thanks for the recommendation, Jennifer.

  4. Such a charming book! I really enjoyed it, Jennifer 🙂

  5. This is so interesting, Jennifer. Already my own wheels began to turn…Thank you.

  6. That cover! Wow, gorgeous. I’m always excited to read a new fairytale and this one looks amazing. Congratulations, Tom! And thank you, Jennifer, for bringing it to our attention!

  7. Hope this becomes a classic! Congrats on a sweet and fun book.

  8. This looks fantastic!! Love the art.

  9. This looks like such a delight!

  10. Oh, this looks fun! Thanks for sharing!

  11. This one will be a favorite of my granddaughters.

  12. This looks great! I’ll make sure to get ahold of a copy. 🙂

  13. Bravo on the inventor being a woman! Congratulations on this book!

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