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Review of Bob, Not Bob!

Bob, Not Bob!
by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick; illus. by Matthew Cordell
Preschool, Primary    Disney-Hyperion    40 pp.
2/17    978-1-4847-2302-9    $17.99

Little Louie has a big head cold. “All he wanted (besides maybe some hot chocolate) was his mother.” But with his stuffy nose, his calls for “MOM!” sound like “BOB!” And that’s why his big, slobbery dog, Bob, comes running. Every time: “NO! NO, no, no! BOB, not BOB!” Soon, everyone — including faithful Bob — is frustrated and confused. The book jacket and title page advise reading this story aloud “as though you have the worst cold ever.” The co-authors’ narrative is satisfying beyond the funny gimmick, though, offering depth and heart in addition to the silly misunderstandings. Kids will relate to Little Louie’s suffering from both his cold symptoms and his inability to make his wishes heard. Cordell’s expressive loose-lined illustrations set on lots of white space enhance the humor and help move the plot forward. Sharp-eyed viewers will clue in to the difference between BOB meaning the dog (printed with an o-shaped O) and BOB meaning MOM (with a heart-shaped O: “B♥B”). Eventually, Mom (exhausted), Little Louie (happy), and Bob (content) all end up in bed, as “cozy as could be.” All turns out well for Little Louie; his germs, however, move on to the next victim. Get well soon, Bob, er, Mom!

From the May/June 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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About Kitty Flynn

Kitty Flynn is consulting editor for The Horn Book, Inc.

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