Bo is an impetuous, inquisitive, quirky robot who wants to become a boy. Made by zoo animals out of spare toy parts, Bo is a tabula rasa of sorts…but paw prints are the main impressions on this blank slate!
The animals made Bo to look human…at least from their perspective. He’s bipedal like a human. It’s just that his arms and legs can extend and retract. He walks upright like a human, but has nubs running along the outside of his spine like a Lego block that allow him to attach things to his back, such as rocket boosters or peacock feathers. He has a torso that’s like a human’s, except his is an old mailbox that’s filled with toys. He can open its flap, which is near his chest, reach in and grab any toy he wants—now that’s some toy chest!
Bo also has a head that is sort of shaped like a human’s—if a human’s head were shaped like an upside-down toaster. Now he’s just go to fill that head with human experiences!
Bo is a wonderer and a wanderer. He can be very focused on his mission, but he’s also easily distracted. And if he sees something he likes, or is curious about, or wants to try, he’s gone, racing at it a hundred miles a minute. Then he stops short, wondering, “How would a real boy do that?”
As Bo beholds his brave new world, he is filled with awe and delight. He has a wide-eyed fascination with everything, from what is a jelly bean? to what is jealousy? (and why does the former sometimes inspire the latter in kids?). Free of any cultural conceits, Bo embraces the human culture with an open mind, playfulness and persistence. He approaches life with curiosity, optimism and respect. Bo is game enough to give anything a go, no matter how ridiculous it might be.
When you’re that willing to try things, you’re going to fall on your face every now and then. And if you’re going to fall on your face, you’d better know how to shake yourself off and laugh. Bo is great at this. He blunders and reacts with amused resilience. But when he witnesses others blunder, he reacts with compassion.
Every now and then, Bo encounters something that overwhelms him. Maybe it’s a situation that makes him shy. Or something that scares him. In those cases, he literally retreats inside himself. He retracts his arms. He retracts his legs. He retracts his head. Zoop. Everything gets pulled into his torso, where his toys are, and he’s nothing but a box—an old mailbox, to be exact.
Bo lives with Mr. Mike, the caretaker of the Wild Zoo. In a house crammed with quirky contraptions, Bo may seem like just another eccentricity there. But he has a very special place in the house…and in Mr. Mike’s heart. As he does with his animal charges, Mr. Mike takes a light-handed and lighthearted approach to Bo, allowing the little robot to figure things out for himself, in his own time, and having complete faith that he will.