Benny, a cute and friendly robot, has one button that is to be pressed only in the event of an emergency. We’ve met Benny before in One Button Benny so we know the power of the little red button and might be a bit nervous consequently. But Benny knows that, unlike his friends, he cannot show off.

It’s nearly time for the Cool Cat Competition and Sparky, Benny’s cat, is entered. Benny and his friends take a lot of time and care making their cats look their absolute best for the competition and that’s when the catastrophe hits. One morning all the cats disappear. Benny’s Mum agrees that this is an emergency so Benny pushes his button…

I’m slightly older than the target audience but I love this book. It made me smile as I read it. It’s a simple little tale, one of co-operation and understanding. But it’s beautifully told with clever pacing and a dramatic arc. Maybe that sounds overblown for a picture book but all the best ones have that great curve.

The words are by Alan Windram, co-founder of Little Door Books, a small Scottish publisher. Perhaps unsurprisingly given Alan’s theatrical background, One Button Benny and the Gigantic Catastrophe has dramatic flair and I can easily imagine it transferred to the stage. But the characters would have to look the way they do in the book. Chloe Holwill-Hunter’s illustrations are wonderful. She imbues the robots and their pet cats with personality and character. I’d quite happily take Sparky into my home!

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