Masterpiece Robot and the Ferocious Valerie Knick-Knack

Comic-book action, an innocent backyard, and four siblings with wild imaginations combine to create an adventurous afternoon. . . .

This story neatly celebrates the everyday life experiences of a diverse family and the magic of togetherness in the face of all kinds of adventure.Kirkus Reviews


Masterpiece Robot pays tribute to the power of a child’s vivid imagination, which can transform a suburban autumn backyard into a futuristic battleground and Laura’s lively siblings into unwitting but enthusiastic participants in a fight for a planet’s survival. We begin in Laura’s bedroom where she is struggling to find her way into the story she wants to write, and we end there with Laura putting the finishing touches on her triumphant tale.  

When Laura―a.k.a. Masterpiece Robot―heads into the backyard with her little sister Molly―a.k.a. Sidekick―her active imagination places them instead on patrol around the perimeter of a dystopian city, guarding against supervillains. Then older sister Amber―a.k.a. Valerie Knick Knack―throws handfuls of fallen leaves at them, unknowingly initiating a battle for the ages.

The transitions back and forth from suburbia to dystopia in this story within a story are deftly rendered with contrasting palettes. The rollicking interactions of the sibling heroes and villains make Masterpiece Robot pure fun to read.