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Robin Wulffson is a California native and a graduate of the UCLA School of Medicine. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a Lifetime Fellow of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. After graduating from medical school, he served a one year internship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He then served two years in the US Army. His first tour of duty was a year in Vietnam as a battalion surgeon; he was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He spent his second year at Kenner Army Hospital in Virginia where he served in the department of obstetrics and gynecology. Following his army service, he completed a three-year residency program in obstetrics and gynecology at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Los Angeles. After almost three decades of private practice, he transitioned to a career in freelance writing, primarily in the healthcare field. He is the author of two adult novels, “An Improbable Cause,” and “The Avalon Affair.” His latest novel, “Tobor the Carry-On Robot,” is designed for middle-grade readers (ages 9 and older). For the past several years, he has published healthcare articles on the Internet.
M. M. Wheezee
on Oct. 20, 2013 :
Move over R2D2 and CP3O.There’s a new robot in town—or, more accurately, out of town. Tobor (robot spelled backwards. Get it?) is the star of the Middle Grade book Tobor, the Carry-on-Robot, by Robin Wulffson.
When Sean Maclure and his two siblings, young Allison and his pain in the rear older sister Caroline, hear that their grandparents are going on a vacation to Southeast Asia, they want to go. Bad.
But the trio has school, and their mom says no way. So Sean comes up with the greatest of ideas—his granddad, a recently retired engineer, could built them a robot that could travel with their grandparents and send back reports on their adventures.
So granddad does just that—builds a walking, talking robot, one that would compact down and make itself into a suitcase for easy travel. It has “eyes” (digital cameras), ears (microphones), batteries that provide the power to let him walk, and a ton of computer memory that lets him “learn” phrases and words. Most important of all, Tobar, the name the three kids came up with, has an internet connection which allows it to both access information and serve as a tour guide, and send back daily reports about the sites they visit.
The travels of this clever robot is a sly way for children to learn about the culture and history of Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore. Grandparents Charles and Elizabeth have their personal tour guide in Tobor by day; by evening he reports back to the three grandkids with sound and pictures and all the adventures of the day. Author Wulffson, who with his wife took the actual cruise Tobor takes, and who served in Vietnam during the war, illustrates his book with his own photographs.
This is a fun way for kids to learn about other countries and people, and how they live. Tobor is endearing, and when he is kidnapped by two unsavory characters and winds up on a very leaky boat in danger of frying his circuit boards, it’s almost as if it’s a real person in danger of dying. Tobar is a fun read, educational for kids and their parents too.
(reviewed the day of purchase)