'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Review: Robox and Dream Machines

Title: Robox / Dream Machines

Author: Mark Rogalski

Illustrator: Mark Rogalski

Publisher: Running Press, A$19.99

Format: Softcover

Language: English

EAN: 9780762435456

For ages: 4-8

Type: Picture Book

About: Robox is more than meets the eye; a cardboard box contortionist that transforms into a four-limbed automaton with a window view of his bottomless tummy (which doubles as a convenient book package display).

Robox emerges as the gastro-con solution to Renny’s slew of problems; a stalking feline, lugheaded bullies, tentacle veggies and of course, the perpetual plague of homework. Robox gobbles up all of Renny’s troubles in one metallic chomp until his hunger starts to consume the good along with the bad.

Author and artist, Mark Rogalski, details Renny’s odyssey and Robox’s dietary oddities in fantastic 3-D detail inviting 'I-spy' study of each graphic page. Multimedia touches such as vintage baseball cards, hand-drawn sketches and charts, contribute to the hyperrealism of Renny’s world and this tale of 'action, adventure and appetite'.

By far, Robox, is one of the most inventive and innovative children’s books that makes reading fun and functional. I immediately made my free-standing Robox which now stands on my shelf, displaying his impish Short Circuit cyborg cuteness. I’m convinced that when he isn’t digesting the worries of the universe, he is dreaming of martian landscapes and rocketing across blue skies.

Rogalski’s custom signature of lush landscapes and interactive imagination also unfolds in Dream Machines; a World’s Fair wonder of fantastic vehicles from the Bubble Sub to the Steam Train Aeroplane.

True to his packaging prowess, Rogalski also includes a dust jacket cover that doubles as a fold-out board game. Singsong clues ring throughout the book (“...the star you seek is in the sky, get back on track and roll the die...”) that advance both the dazzling story and spellbound player across a boardgame of contraptions and creatures.

Author website

You can buy these books online:

Fishpond - A$19.99
SeekBooks - A$17.96
Amazon - US$10.85

Dream Machines
Fishpond - A$20.01
SeekBooks - A$22.46
Amazon - US$12.44