Boot is a small, round robot who wakes up one day in a junkyard with just two and a half memories to his name. One of them is of a little girl called Beth, receiving Boot from her grandma for her birthday. The second is of Beth laughing. And the half memory is Beth crying, saying only the word ‘love’. With nothing more to go on than this, Boot sets out to find Beth and to rediscover who he is. With a colourful cast of robots, humans and even robotic pets along the way, Boot’s adventures are by turns exciting, quirky and moving. Events propel the narrative along at a fast pace so readers are never likely to be bored, and build to a quite unexpected ending that explores the nature of true friendship, love and connection.

Boot is a fun and endearing character to spend time with. He’s also one to whom a lot of children are likely to relate, as he struggles to make sense of the ways of the world and his own emotions. Feelings are quite new to him and he explores each one as it arrives, in a manner that is both accessible and useful to young readers. Ben Mantle’s strong-lined illustrations capture Boot’s bewilderment but also his joy, and complement the text beautifully.