Published by First Second Books, Robot Dreams is Sara Varon’s newest graphic novel and her third book. Her first venture into the graphic novel world was titled Sweater Weather; a 96-page all-ages story about a few animals and their snowy-day adventure that earned Varon a “Best New Talent” Harvey award nomination in 2004. In 2006, Varon made good use of her fluffy style and pastel love in her wordless children’s book, Chicken and Cat.
Now, with Robot Dreams, she’s made a natural progression and taken her wordless visual passion and produced a 208-page OGN that, on its surface, could easily be dismissed as another kid’s book. Dogs reading papers, robots playing at the beach, connoisseur anteaters, and a melting snowman populate the cartoony landscape. But upon deeper examination, the story explores the value of friendship in subtle fashion and in a variety of relationships…and it’s all done without text.
Like Joshua Simmons’ House, Robot Dreams stands as a perfect example of the power pure visual storytelling can demonstrate. It takes a brave and talented storyteller to convey a narrative driven soley by the pictures without the aid or protection of snappy lines, monologues, or thought balloons. Fortunately, Varon is able to deliver a great deal of understated emotion without a single word.
If you can spare a few minutes, I'd recommend giving Robot Dreams a "read".