The Type One Super Robot
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The book cover, depicting Uncle Bellamy, Humbert and Manders.
|Publisher||André Deutsch Ltd|
In the United States, a Kirkus reviewer described it as "a gentle British farce" and said the "comic antics" of the boy protagonist and the robot "should keep readers chuckling." A Los Angeles librarian reviewing the book in the 1988 School Library Journal was less enthusiastic, saying the humour of this "limp addition to the robot pal oeuvre" was "forced and often dependent on knowledge of British terms."
A boy, Humbert, goes to stay with his Uncle Bellamy. Once there he discovers a strange package that appears to hum to itself. Upon alerting his uncle to the package, Humbert is surprised to find that it contains a Type One Household Robot, designed to help around the home. The robot is swiftly named Manders by Uncle Bellamy, because he does everything that a man-does.
Humbert and Manders get into all kinds of adventures, the most memorable of which is a kite flying expedition. The joy in the story for children is how Manders struggles to come to terms with human existence, for example; misunderstanding phrases like "getting along like a house on fire", not realising that a kite is not meant to take you with it, or trying to slice custard.