The Wild Robot
Both stories are testaments to the power of kindness and friendship. They poignantly illustrate that the capacity to care and make meaningful contributions to the wellbeing of others is limited only by one's willingness to try.
For me the similarity reaches beyond the books themselves and extends to authors Peter Brown and Ben Hatke. Each has consistently created an exceptional body of work which I deeply admire.
New Directions: Stepping out
Reading both books resulted in an "ah ha" moment for me. Here are my conclusions:
I have always referred to Peter Brown as a children's book illustrator and Ben Hatke as a comic book creator. With the publication of The Wild Robot and Little Robot I have found myself rethinking my original descriptions of each.
Is Peter Brown a children's book illustrator who wrote a novel for young readers? Is Ben Hatke a comic creator who has also created some picture books? Or was it more than that?
Was I restricting my thinking? Was I inadvertently putting both of these creators in little self-contained boxes?
I have experienced a huge shift in my perceptions.
Both of these storytellers are first and foremost creators who search for interesting ways in which to share their stories. Perhaps the story comes first, and then a method for telling the story follows. Or maybe at times a method of storytelling is selected and then a story is created to fit that method. I don't know. But whatever the method, whatever the format, the stories are genuine, fresh, and totally captivating.
I am officially removing the self-imposed boxes in which I placed Brown and Hatke.
For me they are creators, storytellers extraordinaire. I can't wait to experience what is yet to be.