Illustrated by Mike Austin
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About The Book

Man the machines and help clean up the junkyard in this rousing robot story that encourages community building.

The yard has junk! Stacks and heaps and piles of junk as far as the eye can see. But the Munching Machine robots are on the job—it’s time to get cleaning! And after a whole lot of CRUNCHING, CHEWING, CHOMPING, SLURPING, and SWEEPING, what’s next? Time to get BUILDING, DIGGING, PLANTING, and DECORATING the new park for everyone to enjoy!

Fun, rhyming text paired with irresistible robots and radiant results make this an engaging read-aloud that will inspire clean-up projects of all sizes.

About The Author

Photograph courtesy of the author

Mike Austin is the author-illustrator of Fire Engine No. 9, Monsters Love Colors, and Junkyard. He lives with his wife, artist Jing Jing Tsong, and their two children in Langley, Washington.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books (January 2014)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781442459618
  • Grades: P - 3
  • Ages: 4 - 8
  • Lexile ® AD610L

Raves and Reviews

"Two civic-minded robots dubbed the Munching Machines decide to turn their junkyard home...into a fabulous community garden and playground.... Austin’s digital illustrations are exuberantly jumbled and layered, making for a bright, colorful mess with an appropriately distressed texture reminiscent of block printing."

– Publishers Weekly, November 2013

"Supersized robots made from spare parts are sad to find that the yard is such a mess . . . . Earthy colors dominate the digital illustrations when depicting the messy junkyard, turning to bright greens, blues, and reds when the garden is planted and the park is ready for outdoor fun. The simple sentences and rhyming text create a singsong read-aloud. Children will understand the message about the environment and enjoy these delightful robots."

– School Library Journal, January 2014

"This will likely whip off library shelves and into the hands of young robotloving readers. . . . Beyond the clever rhymes and bright, friendly colors of this ode to caring for the environment, the two smiling, gear-chested robots munching on every form of vehicle imaginable are the very stuff of little boys’ dreams. Austin’s (Monsters Love Colors, 2013) background in design is clear in the simple but sharply defined shapes full of personality and playfulness, perfect for inviting young readers into the yard for a smash-’em-up romp of a good time."

– Booklist, January 2014

Awards and Honors

  • Kansas State Reading Circle List PrimaryTitle

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images