Roz the robot has an intriguing blend of mechanical, just-the-facts computer brain, with feelings that are tenderly emotional, and the measured tone of this sensitive story mirrors that mix. Readers are lucky that Peter Brown, the author of The Wild Robot Escapes, has worked extensively as an illustrator, and the black-and-white illustrations he sprinkles throughout help provide an immersive experience. Brown sometimes addresses the reader directly ("Reader, can you guess…?"), drawing readers in with his conversational tone, and adding to the classic feel. Short chapters, sometimes only one page, ensure that the book is friendly to young readers.
Brown inflects the story with soft humor -- when Roz arrives at the dairy farm, she slips on a cow patty -- and also with frequent philosophical asides, as Roz muses on how she's different, and whether or not that makes her defective. When Roz leaves the farm, embarking on her long journey, there are danger and chase scenes, but also friendly animals who come to Roz's aid, as they might in a fairy tale. The story will prompt readers to think about larger issues of mechanization, the future, human ties and values, and nonviolence.