January 28, 2023

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9 imaginative robot books for kids of all ages

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Robots and children’s stories have gone together for decades, but in this day and age it’s no wonder robot books for children are more popular than ever. A strong candidate for the first fictional robot came from children’s literature before the word “robot” was even used — Tik-Tok, a mechanical character in L. Frank Baum’s book Ozma of Oz, published in 1907. Now, well over 100 years later, we live in an age of revolutionary AI and breakthroughs in robotics, from Boston Dynamics’ dancing robots to AI generators that can create images from your dreams (or your nightmares). For children growing up today, storybook robots represent the near future or even the present, not the far-future sci-fi they embodied for previous generations.

There are many robot books for children of all ages. Fiction and nonfiction, practical and fantastic, there’s a robot story for every reader. Some are based on real-life robots, like the Mars Rovers, while others take the concept of a helpful robot and run with it, creating a brand new world. Whether your young robot fan loves picture and cardboard books, or is an independent reader, there’s a robot-themed book for them. Here are some of the best!

Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum

This beautiful picture book tells the story of Curiosity, the Mars rover that landed on the planet’s surface in 2012. Told from Curiosity’s perspective, the book chronicles the journey of this famous robot from the beginning, from its creation to its work done collecting data on Mars. Kids will love following Curiosity as she explores this new world.

Robot Girl cover

Robot Girl by Malorie Blackman

Robot Girl is a hard-hitting story from veteran sci-fi writer Malorie Blackman. In this story, Claire is excited to learn about the latest project her father, a scientist, has been working on, but things quickly go wrong. Published by dyslexia-friendly publishers Barrington Stoke, this story is ideal for young readers who enjoy high-impact short stories.

National Geographic Robots cover

National Geographic Readers: Robots by Melissa Stewart

Kids who want to learn more about real robots will love this non-fiction book, full of photos and facts explaining the science and history of robotics. National Geographic: Robots is a useful resource for a child doing a school project or class report on robots, and it will provide a lot of information and inspiration for aspiring roboticists as well.

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Maya and the Robot cover

Maya and the Robot by Eve L. Ewing, illustrated by Christine Almeda

In this junior high school novel, Maya is in fifth grade and her already terrifying fear is compounded when she discovers that she will be in a different grade than her best friends. However, when she finds and repairs the robot Ralph, an abandoned science project, Maya finds she can make new friends and take charge of her own life.

The extraordinary colors of Auden Dare covers

The Extraordinary Colors of Auden Dare by Zillah Bethell

Set in a dystopian future where water is very scarce, this intermediate book follows young Auden and his classmate Vivi. After Auden’s uncle, a scientist, dies, the two friends follow the clues he left and discover a robot, Paragon, who may be able to change the world. Auden and Vivi realize that Auden’s uncle’s death may not have been an accident and that they must protect Paragon from dangerous forces that threaten society.

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Layla and the Bots: Happy Paws by Vicky Fang, illustrated by Christine Nishiyama

Layla and the Bots: Happy Paws, the first in a fun chapter book series, follows the adventures of young Layla and her robot friends, who create inventions to solve problems when they’re not rocking out. In this story, Layla and her mechanical buddies decide to try and save the local amusement park by creating a series of new rides, specifically for local dogs. Children who are beginning to read independently will love these cute short stories and may even be inspired by the inventions.

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Robots, robots everywhere! by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Bob Staake

Very young children who love robots will love this cardboard book. Full of colorful illustrations, kids and parents will love watching the scenes and discovering different types of robots doing all sorts of fun activities.

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The Story of a Rover by Jasmine Warga

Another story inspired by the Mars Rover project, this intermediate book tells the story of fictional resilience. Built for the Mars exploration program, Resilience unexpectedly develops emotions and must summon all its courage and ingenuity to deal with the hostile environment of this new planet.

Welcome to your Awesome Robot cover

Welcome to Your Awesome Robot by Viviane Schwartz

If you have a robot loving kid and need a rainy day activity, look no further than Welcome to your awesome robot! This interactive book follows a mother and daughter as they build a robot from recycled materials, and gives kids and parents instructions on how to get involved.

If your kid’s robot reading list is making you want to educate yourself about robots, try our list of 10 innovative sci-fi novels about robots and AI. For kids who want a wider choice of science fiction reading, check out 25 Universe-Expanding Science Fiction Books for Kids.