Review: Junkyard by Mike Austin


Junkyard by Mike Austin

Two huge robots are in a junkyard where there is garbage that goes on for miles.  Then the robots start munching, eating cards, buses, planes and more.  They devour trains, chains, tires, and bicycles.  They drink paste, goo and toxic waste.  Then the story changes and the robots clean up the few things that are left behind, just one little stack.  And it’s time for something new.  The robots dig holes in the ground and plant trees and flowers.  They build a playground and dig out a lake.  They have gardens and dirt piles.  And now what once was a junkyard is a place just for you!

Done in a romping rhyme, this picture book has the appeal of huge robots and destruction.  I must admit that I was completely disarmed by the change of tone in the book when the robots changed from destruction to creation.  It was a striking choice to make in the book and one that will increase its appeal.

Austin’s art is vibrant and colorful.  He uses deep colors that are rich and pop against the white background.  The robots are friendly even as they devour planes and buses.  With the rhyme, the entire book has a playful feel that makes it work well.

A celebration of robots, destruction and making something of nothing, this is a bright and fun joy of a book.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Beach Lane Books.