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