Beep Beep Boop

Get Ready for Robots cover

Get Ready for Robots

Submitter: I work at an elementary school library and recently weeded this gem of a book from the technology section. Get Ready for Robots by Patricia Lauber is from 1987, but the true awfulness is in the illustrations by True Kelley. I would hate a student interested in robotics to stumble upon this nonfiction book.

Holly: Robotics and other STEM topics are great choices for school libraries. They really do need to be kept pretty current, though. This is in the form of a picture book, but the vocabulary is for an older child. Drawn illustrations, rather than photographs, can be appealing to kids. They’re actually kind of cute in a retro way. The robots in this book are all very Star Wars-like, which is how kids pictured robots back in the 80s. I was 13 years old when this book came out, and the robots we saw on TV were R2D2, Optimus Prime, and the Terminator. I also always loved that weird mechanical owl in Clash of the Titans. Now that programs like FIRST Robotics are hugely popular, kids have a whole new sense of tasks robots can complete and it’s very practical and possible.

This book also has condition issues. What’s the goo smeared on the bottom of the first page, shown below?


factory robot - spray paint arm

choring robots

The turtle drawing robot


  1. I wouldn’t consider Kelley’s illustrations as truly awful, but rather standard for the time period. Not my preferred style either, but it seems to have been the going thing for the 1980s.

    1. Why? Why do Arts belong with STEM instead of with history, languages, literature, philosophy, etc. (All the non-STEM disciplines)?

      1. To make it even stranger (to me), I googled and found that the A is supposed to represent the arts defined as “humanities, language arts, dance, drama, music, visual arts, design and new media.” So basically STEM education is literally anything you might be learning in school, except for PE? What is the point of having a special acronym for that?

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