What I’m Reading:
Kindergarten Chapter Books – The Wild Robot
Our most recent read with Ethan get’s a post all it’s own…The Wild Robot by Peter Brown is an epic tale our whole family thoroughly enjoyed so I have to share it with the world!
I don’t honestly remember where I heard about this book, a blog or podcast or instagram…somewhere. I thought, Robots? Good. Wild? Sounds fun. So it was downloaded as a sample on my Kindle for future reminding—that’s my little trick so I don’t forget what I want to read. After two Harry Potter books in a row, we were ready for something very different. I love Harry but man those are some loooooooong books and they just get darker and more serious as the series goes on. I told Ethan we needed a break and at least another year of age before we read the rest.
So we started The Wild Robot.
The gist of this story is a robot gets washed ashore on an island inhabited only by animals. Some curious sea otters open her box and activate her. That’s right, the robot is a HER. Ethan wasn’t phased, why wouldn’t it be a female robot? I was over the moon. HER name is Roz and she immediately starts exploring the island, making friends with the animals, and—after a few bumps in the road—becomes the center of a diverse, peaceful community. She adopts a baby goose to raise as her own son, learns from the beavers how to build structures to help all the animals survive the harsh winter, and develops an animal-like, or “wild”, personality in the process.
Right from the start, this book sparked incredible conversation topics. We talked about machines vs. humans. Bullies. Discrimination. Adoption. Loyalty. Love. Families. Disabilities. Teamwork. Even climate change. The book is quite long, so for weeks we read several chapters a night (they are very short chapters, there’s lots of them) and always spent extra time discussing. Ethan got quite animated in his concepting toward the end, speaking very seriously and with passion. It was adorable.
Heads up, I feel like I must tell you there are a few guns involved near the end of this book. I am very much against guns and would prefer to read books without them, but the author is tactful in how he handles the subject and it sparked more productive conversations.
As we finished the book, it was clear we’d grown quite attached to the characters. Full disclosure, I shed a few tears at several points. The story is just so meaningful and imaginative. Stu enjoyed his nights reading with Ethan and my Mom even got in on a few chapters during her visit after the holidays. None of us knew what was coming next so we’d fill each other in after our shifts.
That’s a robot riding a bear, leading a parade of forest animals. The few illustrations are really whimsical and fun, there were just enough of them to keep Ethan very happy.
I liken this book to a modern day Hatchet or Island of the Blue Dolphins, a survival story at it’s best. I LOVED The Wild Robot and can’t wait to read it again with Finn in a few years. I think Kindergarten is the perfect age to read this book aloud. We’ve got our fingers crossed for a sequel since it was left wiiiiiiide open, but we’ll have fun coming up with the rest of the story on our own till then.
Now we need a new book! What have you read with your kindergarten lately? We need a recommendation!