What can I give to my children to get them interested in reading? Go no further than the wonderful Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot series (Books 1-9) by Dav Pilkey. The story would not win a “good writing” award, but for sheer interest and appeal it is a sure winner – especially for reluctant or beginner readers. Boys in particular will enjoy the mighty robot tales. The series of nine books has become an Amazon bestseller.

Ricky is a young mouse who is bullied at school and is waiting for something BIG to happen. The mighty robot is the BIG thing, invented by Dr Stinky McNasty to destroy all of Squeakyville. The mighty robot is reminiscent of The Iron Giant as he battles to outwit the evil Dr Stinky and the bullies who are taunting the mouse. In the process he makes friends with Ricky’s classmates and finally overcomes Dr Stinky. Young ones can easily relate to the robot, which is friendly and big. He encourages small readers to dream of a larger than life hero in a similar to Superman.

Friendship, tolerance and good winning out over evil feature in each of the stories. Readers are satisfied when Dr Stinky is put in jail, for example.

Reluctant readers will enjoy the Flip-O-Ramas (flip between two pages to make an animation) and the graphic style with plenty of pictures. With plenty of follow-up adventures, this series will keep them busy! Although recommended for 7 years and up, it can easily be read by 6 year olds or those advanced enough to tackle it themselves at around 5 years old. And of course it makes a great read aloud for younger non-readers.

A former children’s librarian, Jane Fagan is currently a full-time mother of two.