Thumbs Up for Bob!

Lynn: Our focus group has been hard at work lately, reading their way through a pile of new picture books. We’ve found some fabulous books (stay tuned for more reviews) but right now a pair of books from Templar Books, a new imprint of Candlewick Press, is at the top of Mason and Hayden’s list. The first is Man on the Moon: (A Day in the Life of Bob) by Simon Bartran (Candlewick/Templar, Jan. 2009) published earlier in Britain and now available here in paper. Bob works on the moon. His job is to keep the moon tidy, give tours and sell souvenirs. Every day Bob patiently explains to tourists that there are no aliens! Young readers joyfully see what Bob doesn’t. Aliens are everywhere! Multi-hued and cupcake-snatching, they pop out of moon craters, stowaway on rockets, peek out of bathtubs and walk the city streets of Earth. Simon Bartram’s large illustrations are an eye-catching delight. Using a rich palette, he fills the entire page with comic drawings replete with wonderful details that reward close inspection. We loved the moon-patterned undershorts and that amazing pet shop!

Cindy: What a hoot! Bob’s Best Friend Ever (Candlewick, Feb. 2009) continues Bob’s adventures and relates lonely Bob’s search for a “best-ever” friend. The cute cyclops puppy with four legs (three on one side of his body) is just what Bob needs. These are books that adult and child will enjoy together and, while they would work for story hour large group presentations, they are even better lap books so readers can closely examine the pages to find all the hidden aliens and to follow the small stories happening in the background. Lucky readers who own the books will find glow in the dark stickers in the first volume, and a book jacket that reverses to the “greatest glow-in-the-dark poster in the galaxy on the second volume–but libraries should “leap” at the chance to add these stellar titles to their circulating collections.


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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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