7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #281: In Which I Rejoice Over
the Return of the Rosenthals’ Willy, Bobo, and Earl

h1 May 20th, 2012 by jules


(Click to enlarge and see entire spread from which this comes)

I may have said only about 7,000 times in 2011 that one of my favorite picture books of that year was Eileen and Marc Rosenthal’s I Must Have Bobo! (I featured it here at 7-Imp in January with illustrations from the book, and Marc also visited the blog here in October.) The book, as I wrote last January, was a straight up showdown between one young boy, Willy, and the family cat, Earl, the dilemma being that the object of their affection is one beloved sock monkey, named Bobo. Bobo, however, can only be with one creature at a time. I also wrote back then that, if I could play for you all the main theme song from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly when discussing the book, I would.

It’s a very funny book.

Well… Willy, Bobo, and Earl are back in 2012. Can someone give me a “WOO!”? Rather, they returned in early April in I’ll Save You Bobo! (brought to us once again by Atheneum Books), and I’m finally getting around to giving the three of them the 7-Imp spotlight. Marc sent some illustrations from the book, as well as some early sketches.

As Publishers Weekly wrote about this one, the “war rages on!” Indeed. Willy is trying to read all about giant dinosaurs, but Earl hasn’t given up on his quest for Bobo and keeps interrupting. When Willy decides to write his own book, a scary adventure in which he’ll save Bobo, his imagination goes into overdrive as he incorporates a jungle, fierce wild animals, tigers, a scary snake tree, and even more. As he’s writing and illustrating this tale in the fort he’s made for himself and Bobo, Earl wreaks his own havoc upon the tale in more ways than one. But, ah, the power of creativity (and catharsis and channeling your rage into your works of art): The snake in Willy’s own story could always eat Earl alive …

“The deceptively simple artwork is layered for fun,” wrote Booklist, “and works in tandem with the deadpan text. This is one that’s enjoyable for both readers and listeners.” These books are charming in many directions; the understated humor and droll illustrations make for a delicious read.

It’s so good to have all three of them back in 2012. (And, again, those interested in seeing more of Marc’s artwork can see this 2011 interview here at 7-Imp or visit his site.)

Here are a couple more illustrations, as well as early sketches from Marc. I thank him for sharing.




(Click to enlarge and see entire spread from which this comes)




(Click each to enlarge and see entire spread from which they come)


Sketch for the tiger spread:
“He doesn’t know there are TIGERS! And they have big teeth.”

I’LL SAVE YOU BOBO! Copyright © 2012 by Eileen Rosenthal. Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Marc Rosenthal. Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York. All images reproduced here with permission of the illustrator.

* * * * * * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

My kicks are that this weekend I’m in Knoxville, Tennessee, my old stompin’ grounds, for Knox County Public Library’s 2012 Children’s Festival of Reading. I’ll be moderating a picture book panel discussion with Alyssa Capucilli, Dianne de Las Casas, David Ezra Stein, and Dan Yaccarino. I’m really looking forward to that, taking in the rest of the festival, and seeing some old friends.

I’ll may not be back online until Monday to read kicks, but I’ll return. Pinky promise.

What are YOUR kicks this week?





9 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #281: In Which I Rejoice Over
the Return of the Rosenthals’ Willy, Bobo, and Earl”

  1. I love the illustration of the cat trying to get into the tent.
    Jules, I hope your weekend is fabulous. Sounds like my kind of weekend.
    My kicks:
    The SCBWI-OR Spring Conference:
    Great topics
    My presentation was,will received.
    Good critique on my work in progress.
    Sunshine
    Solace in Nature is now available.
    Book club tonight:Garden of Secrets
    Have a great week.


  2. Woo! Bobo!
    I’m going to have to get my hands on these books. I know just the sock monkey enthusiast to send them to.

    Jules, What kind of festival food do they have in Knoxville?

    Let’s see, kicks:

    1. On Monday, I wrote a blog post* about the time I tried to make acorn pancakes (inspired by My Side of the Mountain). On Tuesday, Jean Craighead George died. Thank you for all the great stories, J.C.M.

    2. I sent my two year old nephew a book for his birthday and I got to watch him open it via Skype. I love living in the future!

    3. Our flower girl from our wedding (1998) graduated from Georgetown. Woo! The future looks bright.

    4. My Brooklyn born husband seems to have found a new love of yardwork.?! Fine by me.

    5. In Little League news, the Red Sox suffered their first loss to the Giants but came back the next game to beat the Cubs in a landslide.

    6.The weather has been nice enough that I might be able to put the parka away for the season.

    7. Coffee

    Have a great week everyone!
    Go Celtics!

    * http://atlanticmo.blogspot.com/2012/05/mrs-rice-and-brats-of-nihm.html


  3. I have totally fallen in love with these books. I not only purchased them for our school library but for my bookshelves at home. The Festival of Reading sounds fabulous. Enjoy Jules.
    My kicks for the week are:
    1. Reading 7 Imp each day.
    2. Getting all the new books cataloged for next year.
    3. Working outside in the warm weather for 10 hours on Saturday.
    4. Smelling the lilacs in bloom.
    5. Cold ice tea on a hot day.
    6. My dog curling up next to me at night.
    7. Being able to read every chance I can.


  4. Good morning, Imps! How are you all doing today?

    Hello to the Rosenthals – and that includes Willy, Early, and Boo. Cats should always be allowed in tents. Cats should be allowed everywhere. :)

    Jules: Have fun at the festival!

    Jone: I’m so glad to hear that your presentation was well-received at the conference! Congrats. Have fun at your book club. Enjoy the sunshine (with sunblock!)

    Moira: Oh, wow. I hadn’t heard of her passing. Enjoy the parka-free weather.

    Margie: Hello to your dog. Hello to the lilacs. Yay for the new books.

    My kicks for this past week include:
    1) Musical rehearsals
    2) Interview on a sound stage
    3) Trying something new
    4) The music of David Cook
    5) Watching an old Lily Tomlin monologue (thanks to the person who sent the YouTube link to me!)
    6) Playing these roles
    7) Hope, always.


  5. I hadn’t heard of Bobo – this book looks great! Hope you’re enjoying your festival, Jules!

    Jone glad your presentation went well! I love a good conference.

    Moira, I agree that Skype is the bee’s knees.

    Margie I am not sure I know what lilac smells like in real life (I don’t think it grows here) so have an extra sniff for me

    LW, isn’t youtube great for old sketches and shows? I am not sure what a sound stage is but it sounds cool

    My kicks:

    1. Hired a trailer and moved a huge pile of green waste (do you call it this? Branches, leaves etc) to the tip. It had been mouldering away in the garden annoying me for months so this was a huge relief.
    2. Sunny days as we head into winter
    3. Hearing the sound of the chickens clucking away to each other
    4. A night out at a comedy club was funnier than anticipated
    5. Potato and leek soup prepared for some lunches this week
    6. The eldest boy next door (around 4) overcoming his shyness with us to an extent that he now regularly runs up to the fence to talk and came to visit to show us a painting he’d done
    7. We don’t eat a lot of meat, but recently decided to share a meat pack with some friends from a grass fed happy cow farmer. I am not keen on losing my freezer space to what seems like half a cow, but so far the meat has been delicious – noticeably tastier.


  6. Jules- I can’t wait to hear all about the festival!!

    Everyone’s kicks are great- so nice to hear all about the wonderful outside time as the sun finally shines.

    Feeling healthy after an entire family bout of the stomach flu! Enough said :)


  7. Love the ongoing battle for Bobo!

    Jules – hope you had a great time at the festival!

    Jone – hooray for your presentation being well-received and for sunshine too!

    Moira – I am going to check out that post – I loved loved loved My Side of the Moutain when I was growing up. Glad the Red Sox recovered enough to beat the Cubs!

    Margie – lilacs, working outside and a dog curled up next to you sounds like a perfect weekend.

    LW – go go go! Lily Tomlin rocks. And yay for hope.

    Emmaco – sunny days sound wonderful. So does potato and leek soup and sharing a grass-fed cow.

    Stacey – glad your family is recovered.

    My kicks this week:

    It’s been a cat week here:
    1) Yesterday found 3 little eyes not opened yet kittens in my window well after clipping the hedges. So sweet. Happy to report, Mama cat came & fed them, then seeing me, promptly moved them to a safer location. I’ll be keeping my eyes out for them as they get bigger.
    2) My friend Jeff in L.A., who brought me to my Cheyenne, his cat Squeek passed away after a wonderful 18 years. Squeek was an amazing ratter/mouser, hung out with all the dogs, and was the most badass cat I’ve ever known. May he rest in peace with mice always in his reach, and comfy naps with all his pups who passed before in abundance.
    3) SNL’s finale & goodbye to Kristen Wiig. Mick Jagger was pretty damn funny too.
    4) Finished reading Alive in Necropolis by Doug Dorst. It was interesting, & I disagree with the reviewer who made me want to read it, which is also interesting.
    5) Finally watched The Wrestler. Mickey Rourke & Marisa Tomei were great.
    6) I ordered a Preston Sturges Collection from the library. Watched The Great McGinty, about Chicago graft & politics. The movie was fun & definitely still relevant. Up next, Christmas in July.
    7) A perfect Sunday morning today – Brunch, Bloody Marys, then back to Bed.

    Have a great week everyone!


  8. I’m here. Finally!

    Jone, congrats on a good presentation at SCBWI-OR. Wish I could have heard you.

    Moira, whoa. Funky timing on your blog post there. I love the sentence “I love living in the future,” by the way. What is your Brooklyn-based husband growing anyway? Oh, and to answer your question, it’s typical festival food. Funnel cakes, nachos, ice cream, hot dogs …

    Margie: Sunshine, lilacs, cold tea, a warm, cuddly pet, good readin’ … those are some good, rich kicks.

    Little Willow, so glad you’re enjoying your roles. Also, a friend of mine once recited an entire Lily Tomlin monologue to me on the phone—he loves her so much that he had memorized it—and I laughed till I thought I’d pee my pants.

    Emmaco, I love that story about your neighbor. Enjoy the last of the sunny days (as we head into summer!) ….

    Stacey, so glad you’re all feeling well.

    Rachel, may Squeek rest in peace. I bow to his bad-assery. And OH MY GOD wee baby kittens in your window? MY GIRLS WOULD PASS RIGHT OUT FROM HAPPINESS if this happened to us. … I missed SNL but saw videos later and totally cried over that farewell to Ms. Wiig, whose talents I will miss. … Hmm….don’t think I’ve seen The Wrestler, so thanks for the reminder.

    Have a great week, everyone …


  9. I love Earl.

    I also love those kittens Rachel found, even though I haven’t seen them.


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