BroBots and the Kaiju Kerfuffle! /BroBots and the Mecha Malarkey! /BroBots and the Shoujo Shenanigans! – written by J. Torres, illustrated by Sean K. Dove

BroBots and the Kaiju Kerfuffle! – written by J. Torres, illustrated by Sean K. Dove, Oni Press, 9781620103067, 2016

BroBots and the Mecha Malarkey! – written by J. Torres, illustrated by Sean K. Dove, Oni Press, 9781620104248, 2017






BroBots and the Shoujo Shenanigans! – written by J. Torres, illustrated by Sean K. Dove, Oni Press, 9781620105214, 2018

Format: PDF (ARC)

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 2

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Graphic Novel)

What did you like about the book?  These short comics will easily keep the attention of reluctant readers with their quick action, large font, and colorful panels. Some silly humor will get kids giggling.

Each volume has a fairy tale tie-in near the end with the BroBots solving their monstrous problems with fairy tale logic.  This element is a fun way to encourage problem solving and will get readers thinking about story elements from the tales, building recall skills.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  This series makes several missteps that ultimately make it an undesirable choice for book shelves.  

The puns are nonstop and range from being clever to being a painful stretch for a laugh.  Many of the puns will likely be lost on the target audience, much in the way that Dog Man‘s plays on classic titles are overlooked by kids; the key difference here is that the humor in Dog Man doesn’t rely on the title while most of the humor in BroBots does. In addition, there are endless plays on the word “bro” which are often cute or at least make sense (“We’re bro-fessionals!” from volume 1) but can also be confusing in terms of sound, especially for intermediate readers (“Proceed in a bro-rderly fashion!” from volume 3).

The bigger, though notably more subtle, issue are the “villains” of each volume.  It seems each antagonist was just minding their own business before the plot comes along and launches things into an action sequence without a chance for other solutions to intervene.  In the second volume, the two groups at least talk and realize everything was a misunderstanding; the BroBots did eat the witch’s gingerbread house, afterall.  How was she supposed to react? 

Finally, the third volume presents its own issue of being just plain old-fashioned as the BroBots fetch a prince to wake a sleeping princess. With the many other twists on classic fairy tales, could they not have invented a different way that doesn’t involve something so outdated?

To whom would you recommend this book?  I wouldn’t put this on top of any recommendation lists.  It would likely do well with a reader at a grade 3 to 5 level, but the quality is quite low.

Who should buy this book? Would not recommend it except as a possible filler.

Where would you shelve it ? Graphic Novels

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Melissa McCleary, Pembroke Public Library, Pembroke, MA

Date of review: May 17, 2020 

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