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Children's Fiction Humorous Stories

How to Make a Friend

by (author) Stephen W. Martin

illustrated by Olivia Aserr

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Initial publish date
Jul 2021
Humorous Stories
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2021
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2


A girl’s efforts to build a robot friend go comically awry when the robot attempts world domination in this witty metaphor for the ups and downs of friendship.

Ever wish friendship came with an instruction manual? A resourceful youngster follows step-by-step directions for constructing a robot to be her friend. The instructions make it sound so simple! But they also caution that sometimes a friendship doesn’t turn out as hoped for, as the girl discovers when her new friend unexpectedly unleashes an evil robot army on the city. Now she has to stop the robot and seriously reevaluate their friendship! In the end, the resilient heroine of thiscomical and clever tale not only saves the city, she finds a real and lasting friend where least expected.  

About the authors

Stephen W. Martin is a genre-filmmaker, specializing in blood, gore and whimsical storytelling. His award-winning short films have been presented at international festivals such as Vancouver International Film Festival, Screamfest in LA, and Raindance in London, England. His most recent short film "Dead Friends" won the World Kids International Film Festival, where it was selected for screenings in classrooms all across India. Robot SMASH! is Stephen's first children’s picture book. He is a proud Newfoundlander who lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Stephen W. Martin's profile page

Olivia Aserr's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"The visuals feel like a 1970s cartoon, jaunty and geometric, creating an upbeat vibe from which one can almost hear the silly sound effects....With deadpan delivery, Martin’s humor is well balanced and fast paced, and it has at its core some very real advice accompanying the exuberant visuals....So entertaining that the good advice slips right in."—?Kirkus

Other titles by Stephen W. Martin