Tuesday, August 22, 2006


BOBBY THE BOLD by Donna Jo Napoli and Eva Furrow, illustrated by Ard Hoyt (Dial)
Bobby is a bonobo in a cage full of chimpanzees, and his differences make it so he is not included in all the monkey business. Bobby gets along well with people, though, and tunes in to the pretty song the zookeeper plays on the lock keypad. One night, Bobby dons a zookeeper jacket and hops a bus over to the hairdresser, when he gets a new do and a skill he can share to earn the respect of his primate peers. Besides being downright hilarious, a sign-language theme is integrated into the story, giving it another facet of interest. Bobby is a character with a ton of personality, and the message of fitting in even when you're different will be a hopeful one for many children. The wild story does require some suspended belief, and Ard Hoyt is perfection here, a hybrid between David Small and Dr. Seuss, doing exactly what every author dreams an illustrator will do: add something above and beyond than the text on the page. You can practically hear those chimps hoo-hoo-ing! And wait until you see Bobby's new hairdo! Ard Hoyt has a broad, imaginative talent with an unbridled use of space that I think in another era would be pushed by publishers and greatly celebrated by children; I hope that we are enough evolved to get his books into their hands today. (5 and up)

Also of interest:
WHEN THE COWS GOT LOOSE by Carol Weis, illustrated by Ard Hoyt (Simon & Schuster)
Ida Mae's twenty-six cows have gone a-wandering, and she's got to bring those bovines home again. Once more, Ard Hoyt adds so much to the story, setting it in a circus-inspired town and letting the cows in on the daredevil, high-flying feats, and giving Ida Mae a zebra to ride instead of a horse. A colorful, crazy tall-tale told in folksy read-aloud language. (5 and up)

Links are provided for informational use. Don't forget to support your local bookseller.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails