Welcome to Bobville: City of Bobs

Jonah Winter, illus. by Bob Staake. Random House/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-12272-3
The citizens of Bobville are the epitome of conformity: all named Bob, they also look and act the same. Staake (The Book of Gold), leaning into his stylized aesthetic, draws the Bobs as black-and-white figures with rotund, striped bodies; mostly bald pates; and bulbous noses. “Life could get a little dull,” writes Winter (Mother Jones and Her Army of Mill Children), but the Bobs cherish their way of life—which also includes hating any outliers. When a renegade community member renames himself Bruce and starts wearing red striped pants and a variously patterned bright shirt, the reaction in Bobville is swift and draconian. “The Person Formerly Known as Bob” is banished, and the Bobs build a tall brick wall around the town “for keeping out other not-Bobs”; Bruce, looking not at all displeased, finds happiness in “the big, exciting world outside,” which is populated by people (plus one robot, two Martians, and a unicorn) of every color, wardrobe, and lifestyle. The creators devote so many pages to the Bobville orthodoxy that Bruce’s new life feels shortchanged, but the laudatory, relevant premise offers a clear way forward for non-Bobs everywhere. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/02/2020
Release date: 09/01/2020
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 40 pages - 978-0-593-12273-0
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