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I Must Have Bobo! has been selected as a New York Times Notable Children's Book of 2011.
"A melodramatic boy, Willy, and a cat, Earl, both lay claim to a sock monkey. With adorable illustrations and sharp but spare text."
--New York Times (November 21, 2011)
Willy, the protagonist of this small domestic drama, is perfectly, appropriately self-absorbed, as he is barely out of toddlerhood and, as his monologue reveals, he relies on his sock monkey, Bobo, to help him negotiate the challenges of being so young. Bobo helps him, specifically, to confront dubious, possibly “bitey” bugs, go down the playground slide and walk past large dogs (friendly doggy smiles notwithstanding). Digitally colored and boldly lined pencil cartoons against cream-yellow background space put Willy and his feline housemate Earl (who has a marvelously blank, inscrutably entitled cat face) firmly in the forefront of the story. Earl likes Bobo, too! When Willy loses track of Bobo, his search grows anxious: Could Bobo have been stolen by pirates? Or…Earl? Small listeners may recognize themselves in the worn-out, napping boy, curled up with his arm around both Bobo and Earl—but some will also sympathize with Earl’s relentless, devoted recapturing of Bobo (clearly a shared prize in this household). Hilarious for adult readers; an exercise in self-recognition and empathy for the intended audience.
--KIRKUS (January 1, 2011) *STAR*
Knuffle Bunny, move over. There’s another lost stuffie in town, although this one is not so much lost as stolen. When Willy wakes up, he freaks out. Bobo is gone, and if there’s one thing Willy needs, it’s his monkey, Bobo. After reciting the reasons why, he spots a monkey tail, and sure enough, there’s Bobo under his covers with Earl, the gray cat. Earl seems to need Bobo as much as Willy does, because whenever the boy is the least bit distracted, Earl is grabbing Bobo’s tail and dragging him off. Although this is a one-joke story, it’s told with such an honest grip on a child’s world and emotions, and illustrated so cleverly, that there’s plenty of sustainability. Little ones will also enjoy finding Earl on the buff-colored pages. Willy, Earl, and Bobo are the only colorful spots in the art, but that doesn’t mean it won’t take readers a bit of looking to find the gray cat, who has plenty of expressions—mad, surprised, sly—for such a simply drawn feline. This will resonate, and it’s cute as all get-out.
--Booklist (March 15, 2011)
--School Library Journal (March 1, 2011)
--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (February 2011)
--Publishers Weekly (December 13, 2010)
Eileen Rosenthal and her husband, Marc Rosenthal, enjoy working together (and even sharing)—unlike Willy and Earl. I Must Have Bobo! was their first collaborative project and Eileen’s picture book debut. Marc is also the illustrator of Alison McGhee’s Making a Friend. Eileen and Marc live with their family in the Berkshires.
Marc Rosenthal is the illustrator of many books for children, including I Must Have Bobo, I’ll Save You Bobo, and Bobo the Sailor Man, all by Eileen Rosenthal; The Straight Line Wonder by Mem Fox; and Phooey, which he wrote. Marc’s illustrations can be seen regularly in The New Yorker, Time, Forbes, Fortune, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and others. Visit him online at Marc-Rosenthal.com.
A read aloud book that hooks kids every time, no matter the grade level. A mentor text for many writing lessons that kick off Writers' Workshop.Published 12 months ago by missmc2
I read this to a 5 year old and 3 year old twins. They stayed interested because of the sneaky cat, but I felt they had trouble understanding when Willie was attributing his own... Read morePublished 14 months ago by David
I love this book. This was my son's first book of his own. Not a library book. He loved it too.Published 19 months ago by J.Gil Weatherford
My daughter's nickname is Bobo so we got this for her as a Christmas gift. She loves it. It's a fun story, the illustrations are great and she loves seeing "Bobo" in a... Read morePublished 19 months ago by brookerains
What a great book! My kids love all the Bobo books, we read over and over at night. Can't miss on this.Published 21 months ago by Shannon Carroll
Bobo is an easy to read name of the main character in this book. The grandkids love saying this name and talking about this character in all aspects of their lives!Published on June 28, 2013 by Mary