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I Must Have Bobo! Hardcover – January 25, 2011


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I Must Have Bobo! + I'll Save You Bobo! + Bobo the Sailor Man!
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (January 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442403772
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442403772
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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)



A sock monkey is the titular character in this tale of boy, cat and toy. Working with his wife, Eileen, who makes her picture book debut, Marc Rosenthal places hugely appealing retro-cartoon illustrations against a spare backdrop. As boy and cat tussle over Bobo, fundamental preschooler emotions—desire, fear, frustration, despair—will play for appreciative giggles.

--New York Times Book Review (March 13, 2011)


“When Willy woke up, there was trouble.” His favorite, do-everything-with sock monkey is missing. But Willy isn’t the only one who thinks Bobo should always be by his side. Earl, a mischievous gray feline, waits in the background and snatches Bobo away at the most opportune moments. Kids who spend hours hunting for their favorite toy will relate to the boy’s endless skirmishes with Earl. Willy’s frustration, clearly decipherable from his facial expressions, is juxtaposed with the cat’s impassive, innocent face, with the exception of a few over-the-top anthropomorphized expressions. Told in Willy’s genuine preschool voice, the story also encompasses a hunt-and-find element, as readers can search for Bobo with Willy in the illustrations. Pencil drawings, digitally colored, are set against cream-colored pages, giving the tale a muted, calm feeling despite the infuriated laments of a foiled little boy. It is clear this battle will continue long after the story ends. An excellent choice for bedtime or storytime.–Richelle Roth, Boone County Public Library, KY

--School Library Journal (March 1, 2011)



When Willy wakes up to find his beloved stuffed monkey, Bobo, missing, he begins to panic; after all, Bobo helps him with everything, from identifying dangerous bugs to going down the slide to walking past the yard with the big scary dog. It doesn’t take Willy long to discover Bobo under the covers in the clutches of his pet cat Earl. As the day continues, Bobo keeps disappearing, and Willy keeps finding him with Earl, and Willy’s frustration with his kitty grows exponentially. In the end, Willy, Earl and Bobo all curl up together in an oversized armchair . . . that is, until Willy falls asleep and Earl drags the monkey off once again. With telling detail, the story effectively establishes the importance of Bobo to Willy right from the start and lays out the pattern of Earl’s penchant for stealing the toy. Vintage-inspired illustrations by Marc Rosenthal (Archie and the Pirates, BCCB 12/09) are penned in brown ink on pale yellow pages and colored digitally; only Willy, Bobo and Earl have any color, while all other compositional details remain outlines. Since Willy’s a little overinclined to scowl his way through the proceedings, the sneaky Earl, who silently pads through the spreads, is the most visually engaging of the characters. Cat owners especially will therefore readily recognize Earl’s tactics and understand Willy’s immediate readiness to forgive his four-legged friend. HM

--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (February 2011)



In Eileen Rosenthal's first children's book, Willy, a small boy, and Earl, the family cat, battle over Bobo, Willy's treasured sock monkey, Earl is always sneaking off with Bobo, and illustrator Marc Rosenthal's (Phooey!) ability to capture Earl's feline deviousness--the way Earl cranes his neck to see if Willy is coming, or hides under the covers with Bobo--is one of the book's chief charms. Another is the contrast between the complicated things Willy pretends Bobo can do and the way Bobo hangs limply from Willy's arms, a passive participant in the boy's plans. "Bobo helps me with everything," Willy says; he bends over and prods a black bug with a stick. "Bobo, is that a bitey-bug?" he asks. But Bobo, under Willy's arm, simply wears that rigid stuffed animal expression every reader will recognize. In the end, Willy finds Early curled up in an armchair with Bobo and curls himself around them ("Here's my Bobo," he says contentedly); Earl's sideways glance shows that the story won't end there. Soft pencil drawings on cream-colored pages add to the generally calm, bedtime atmosphere. Ages 3-6.

--Publishers Weekly (December 13, 2010)

About the Author

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.

More About the Author

Before writing her first book, I Must Have Bobo!, Eileen Rosenthal was a graphic designer with a background in book design and exhibition graphics. She has a Fine Arts degree from the University of Michigan and later studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Ms. Rosenthal worked as a graphic designer in New York and was a children's book designer for Alfred A. Knopf.

Eileen met her husband, illustrator Marc Rosenthal, in New York City while working together at a design studio. They have since enjoyed many years of peaceful co-habitation and collaboration. Marc is the illustrator of I Must Have Bobo! and many other great books. They have a son and a cat or two and live in Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

We checked this book out at the library, and my son fell in love with it.
ashley
And the cat drawings are very nicely done--the illustrator has created a very impish and sweet cat that is pretty realistic to most cats' personalities.
Jeff Wignall
Great story - super fabulous illustrations - an engaging book that my children have enjoyed.
Mamaof4monkees

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dill on March 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great concept and great execution!

Willy uses Bobo to navigate his world and confront scary stuff (going down slides, walking past big dogs and dealing with "bitey" bugs). When Willy loses track of Bobo, the toddler employs his problem-solving skills to find his beloved friend. But not for long because Earl steals his sock monkey once again.

The drawings capture the body language of child and cat alike and each page becomes a charming vignette that can almost stand alone.

I shared the book with a young friend and she was positively delighted with it... so much so that I gave her my copy. By all means, add it to your gift list.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By My2Cents VINE VOICE on March 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
An adorable childrens book featuring Willy (the boy), BoBo (the sock monkey) his beloved favorite toy, and Earl (the cat) who loves BoBo as well, and tries to steal him and hide him whenever he can.

Willy spends a lot of time trying to find his BoBo, who helps him find bugs, and protects him from big dogs. Things are not the same when BoBo is missing, but Willy just needs to find Earl the cat, and BoBo is sure to be safe at his side.

An adorable book with an old-fashion feel, beautifully illustrated, and a treat for young and old everywhere.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Emily on February 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is absolutely delightful. I work at a Big Box book store, and I wrote an employee recommendation for this book after I read it aloud for storytime. The book sold out in two days. It is fun to read aloud, and you can discuss the antics of the boy and the kitty who both want to call Bobo their Number One Snoozle Buddy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Grange on March 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Willy wakes up horrified to discover that his stuffed monkey, Bobo, is missing. He explains to the reader why he 'must have Bobo'. When he goes searching for his stuffed friend, he discovers that Earl, the cat, is also determined to have Bobo.

This is another fun book that showcases the independence of spirit that cats are known for. While Willy is willing to compromise with Earl, Earl is most definitely not willing to compromise with him. Anyone who has spent time around cats is likely to laugh or roll their eyes at Earl's persistence. A good read aloud that begs for the reader to 'become' Willy and share in Willy's attachment to his toy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Wignall VINE VOICE on February 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was very attracted to the cover of this book, of a cat pulling around a kid's sock puppet so I thought it might be a fun read--and it really is. It's a charming little story, written and illustrated by a husband and wife team, about a little boy that keeps losing his favorite toy...mostly to a cat that is also obsessed with it. The story is nice and simple enough to read quickly at bedtime and yet interesting and fun enough to keep a younger child's interest. The illustrations are cute, though I'm not a huge fan of the illustration type--but that is entirely a matter of personal taste and doesn't reflect in any way on the artist's skills, which are fine. In fact, some of the illustrations have a kind of James Thurber or even 1950's quality that is nice. And the cat drawings are very nicely done--the illustrator has created a very impish and sweet cat that is pretty realistic to most cats' personalities. A good bedtime read, a cute book, a nice cat--what more can you ask for?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maggi of the Mountains on February 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This simple book is sweet, charming, and appealing to parents/adults, toddlers little ones up to about age 5 or 6, with great illustrations which are a bit reminiscent of comics but much richer and better. The theme is universal - one we can all relate to if we have ever had a favorite toy and a pet, friend, or sibling who kept taking it. The ending has a funny little surprise as well.

It's the kind of book that parent and child can enjoy over and over and the affection they share will create happy memories well into later years as a, " Remember when"...or the type your child may pull out when s/he is much older and feels a little nostalgic when sick or having some solitary time. It's the kind my 17 year old would have saved in her large collection of books chosen as one of the few keepers from her early childhood as she moves into adulthood.

Great gift for your child, friend's children or grandchildren.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Montgomery VINE VOICE on February 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a fantastic book! My two year old wanted me to read it over and over and after the 4th read he was reading it too! It has so many great expressions and emotions in the characters and drawings. The cat Earl is sneaky and he continues to get into trouble throughout the book and even in the end it is fun to ponder what might happen next. It is a nice short story to read anytime of the day or for a quick read at bedtime. We have over a hundred books and my little boy keeps grabbing for this one. This would make a great gift too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Agatha Kristy on February 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is adorable, of course it helps I have a cat named Bobo...
My grandson has asked me to read it to read it to him, over and over again. The story involves a boy, his favorite stuffed toy named Bobo and his cat who also loves Bobo and steals him every chance he gets. The moral of the story is toshowkids that ifthier favorite ______(blanket, toy, binky etc) disapears, it is not the end of the world. It will showback up and maybe, someone(thing) needs it more than you do at that moment. Sharing is a good thing.
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