The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess | Tom Gauld


The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess by Tom Gauld

Out Now from Neal Porter Books; 40 pages

About the Author and Illustrator: “Tom Gauld is an Eisner Award-winning artist who makes weekly cartoons about literature for The Guardian and about science news for New Scientist in the UK. He created the graphic novels Goliath and Mooncop and has drawn eight covers for the New Yorker. The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess is his first picture book for children. Tom grew up in the Scottish countryside and now lives in London, England, with his wife and two daughters.” (Bio taken from book jacket)

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“One night the king went to go see the royal inventor, and the queen went to see a clever old witch who lived in the woods. They both asked for the same thing: a child.” 

After years of longing for a child of their own, the king and queen of a magical land finally receive the family of their dreams in the form of a little wooden robot and a log princess. They live happily together for years, but the log princess has a secret: every night when she goes to sleep, she turns back into a log. When a maid accidentally mistakes the princess for a regular log and throws her out the window, she ends up on a boat, lost in a pile with hundreds of other logs. Desperate to find his sister, the robot sets off on a daring journey across the kingdom. 

Attention fairy tale lovers of all ages: Tom Gauld’s debut picture book The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess is for you! This magical and quirky story felt reminiscent of animated shows like Adventure Time and Over the Garden Wall. I loved following the characters through fantastical landscapes, from the icy tundra to a deep dark forest. Gauld’s colorful illustrations are an absolute delight, with cozy details sprinkled across each page. I also enjoyed Gauld’s knack for infusing humor through the characters’ facial expressions. 

One of my favorite parts of the book were the illustrations showing adventures that the main characters went on through comic-style panels. Although I would have loved to hear the full story behind these images, I like that they leave room for the reader to imagine for themselves what happened. Each one is whimsical and intriguing, but I especially loved “The Baby in a Rose Bush” and “The Magic Pudding.” 

This timeless yet fresh picture book feels like a classic in the making. I highly recommend choosing it for your next bedtime story!

PRR Writer, Emily Pimental