The first day of school is exciting, nerve-wracking, and fun! Kids need encouragement to make friends and our book, WONKY: A ROBOTICS CLUB STORY is perfect multicultural book for the job.

Wonky: A Robotics Club Story |
Great multicultural read aloud for the first day of school!

Howie, a shy turtle, is scared that he won’t make friends. Typical of the first day of school, he doubts that anyone will share his passion for robots. During Robotics Club, everyone chooses up partners and Howie is left out. He puts on a brave front:

“No big deal,” he says. “Just what I wanted anyway. This way, no one will ruin my robot design.”

But inside, he’s dying.

And then–the classroom door bursts open and in bounds Lincoln, a boisterous ostrich. Of course, the teacher insists that this unlikely pair become a team.

Nathaniel Gold‘s charming illustrations take the reader through the design process as the pair tries to decide on what kind of robot they want to make.

Interior page of Wonky: A Robotics Club Story.
Interior page from WONKY: A ROBOTICS CLUB STORY.

Howie and Lincoln take animals as inspiration for their designs with 8-legged robots, 5-legged robots, and more. From a design standpoint, they are favoring form over function. They they finally decide what they want the robot to DO, Howie and Lincoln find common ground.

This encourages divergent thinking as Lincoln and Howie design a robot. For kids who are rigid and inflexible, they’ll see the value of considering different options, and accepting those who are different.

Because LIncoln the ostrich comes from Africa, there’s also a multicultural element to the story. It’s easy to see and discuss the differences between a box turtle and an ostrich. By framing multicultural acceptance with animals, it avoids specific mention of any one culture and adapts well to any ethnic mix. Of course, teachers and parents may bring in specific cultural references as desired or needed.

STEM + Back to School

The STEM ideas of designing for function combine with a friendship story. It sets the tone for a STEM-focused classroom.

.” . .offbeat and clever. . . With pages filled with animals and robots, this tale will certainly appeal to kids. . . .”

Kirkus Reviews

On this website, you can purchase the ebook. We guarantee that you can read it on the device of your choice, or your money back. Find the paperback and hardcovers at your favorite educational distributor or online store.

Girl holds book cover of WONKY: A ROBOTICS CLUB STORY

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