Reviews for My Robots : The Robotic Genius of Lady Regina Bonquers III

Booklist Reviews 2012 December #1
Olander, the author of A Field Guide to Monsters (2007) and A Field Guide to Aliens (2010), compiles the fictitious notebooks of a little-known robot maker, Lady Regina Bonquers III. Among her many imaginative inventions are a robot that identifies unknown odors and a clown robot that knows 17 ways to fall off a chair. Unfortunately, these creations have a tendency toward design flaws, ranging from the amusing (space-battle robots that ended up as rock musicians) to the disastrous (construction robots that obliterated property), making the faux journal a humorous read. Along with anecdotes relating to each robot's design and operation, the entries are accompanied by sketches, schematics, and personal notes, as well as advertisements for those automatons that made it into wide production. These visual additions give the book much of its personality and charm, while the large array of sketches, done in varying styles and with different levels of detail and apparent expertise, could well serve to inspire readers to hunker down over their own sketchbooks in a loopy fit of creation. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
This fictional recovered notebook features the bizarre technological creations of a reclusive Scottish noblewoman responsible for inventing a series of ridiculous, malfunctioning robots in the mid-twentieth-century. While the design is gorgeous, the formula becomes quickly repetitive and the book ends abruptly. Robot-lovers will appreciate the detailed drawings and diagrams, but general readers may not find the text inviting.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #2
The creator of useful field guides to monsters (2007) and aliens (2010) turns his attention to an eccentric Scottish inventor's mechanical fancies. Along with images of taped- or tacked-on rough sketches, scrawled notes, product brochures and schematic diagrams purportedly discovered in Lady Regina Bonquers III's mysteriously abandoned castle near Loch MeeAhwey, Olander offers descriptions of over 23 marvelous machines. These range from a 40-foot-tall, garbage-recycling Crocobot Compactor and the protean household helper Chore Master X2000 to a pocket-sized Personal Grooming Robot equipped with pimple popper. Skating even closer to the boundaries of good taste, he also presents a tall and soft-bodied "Hugging Robot" built by the solitary Lady as her personal comfort object. Thanks largely to programming glitches and, often, attendant bad publicity, none of Lady Bonquers' ingenious creations enjoyed commercial success, alas. Nevertheless, budding inventors may find inspiration in these pages (if not specific instructions or even clear details) for labor- and life-saving robots of their own. According to the author, Lady Bonquers is still remembered in "the international circle of pseudoscientists and mad geniuses." Here's hoping that this tribute will expand her renown to a wider audience. (Fiction. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 January

Gr 3-5--In this heavily illustrated chapter book, Olander invites readers to create their own theory, purely conspiratorial or based on the evidence provided, of the mysterious disappearance of fantastical Scottish robotic genius Lady Regina Bonquers III. The preface sets the stage for this participatory adventure that explores the borderline between fact and fiction. Evidence, notes, diagrams, drawings, advertisements, letters, replies, reviews, and whatnot, all taped and tacked to the pages facsimile-style, describe-in tandem with the text-the eccentric career of the robot maker, sometimes questionably, other times ironically. Each chapter chronicles one of Lady Bonquers's robots, from inspiration to internal workings, and many with colossal commercial downfalls. The bots range from the idiosyncratic odor-detecting Odoro 1 to the sardonic Replicant bot, which can attend undesirable classes and family functions for people by using "hundreds of tiny, synchronized projectors [displaying] images from inside the 'skin,' thus creating a reasonable lifelike substitute." Others are altruistic in nature, such as the environmental cleaner robot and the firefighting robot. Highlighted accessories such as the "plucker" of the firefighting robot, "a large gentle hand that could pluck animals and humans out of hazardous situations," are tongue-in-cheek, yet rendered scientifically. The page borders and headings are steampunk in style with flourishes created not by ink, but by washers, gears, and screw heads. This title will appeal to the subset of kids who enjoy DIY tinkering, creative problem-solving, programming, scientific jargon, and wry humor. It's Borges for kids.--Sara Lissa Paulson, The American Sign Language and English Lower School, New York City

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