The loveable robot Boot is back from the future for another adventure in this new action story for children.
Like the previous episodes, this book describes the life of a humble toy robot who has lost his memories and is trying to make sense of the world around him. Hegarty paints a picture of the future that is simple, powerful and emotive. Boot’s world is full of drones and robots and screens and skyscrapers. So far, so sci-fi but, what is striking about this future, is its similarities with today and how easy it is to imagine.
In The Creaky Creatures, Boot meets two new humans when he is wobbling along trying to track down his friendly robotic pig. They show him a beautiful, green park. It’s right in the centre of town but not only has Boot not noticed it before, nobody but these children and a single, coffee-drinking woman seem to know it exists. It’s an alarming, poignant conjecture: in the future all the parks and green spaces will disappear, but we’ll all be too busy to notice.
Sadly, Boot has found his new park just in time to see it destroyed in favour of yet another coffee house, and he has to team up with his new friends and his old in order to try and stop the bulldozerbots.
Fans of earlier episodes will welcome the starring role that Boot’s oldest ally Noke plays. The crackpot old humanoid is by far the funniest of Boot’s sidekicks, injecting little moments of farce each time the plot threatens to become too serious. The new robot characters are good fun too and include a shiny pink unicorn, a hypnotically adorable hamster and a clumsy brontosaurus with a retractable neck.
There is much to love about Hegarty’s most recent Boot book. It has emotive themes and engaging new characters, and Ben Mantle’s illustrations are a perfectly vivid accompaniment. The plot is very predictable, though, and it is easy to miss while pondering the environmental and philosophical questions it raises.