cover image Bob, Not Bob!

Bob, Not Bob!

Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick, illus. by Matthew Cordell. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4847-2302-9

Scanlon and Vernick’s opening description of their young hero, Louie, creates instant intimacy: “Little Louie wasn’t all that little. It wasn’t like he needed his mom every minute of the day.” But after Louie gets a terrible cold, his calls for “Mom” come out sounding like “Bob” (the family dog), and the big, lolloping hound “came running. And slobbering.” Cordell (The Knowing Book) is wonderful at capturing the chaos of the sickroom: Bob drooling on the bed, tissue that didn’t make it into the wastebasket, overturned baskets of laundry. Scanlon (In the Canyon) and Vernick (Unlike Other Monsters) understand the way that being sick makes kids need comfort that they don’t usually need, how it makes them unrecognizable even to themselves, and the comfort a mother’s presence brings. Every page offers a giggle: “His lips chapped and his eyes gunked. As for his nose, you can’t even imagine.” With its funny, congested language (“I doan wan by bedicine”) and problems every reader will understand this is read-aloud gold. Ages 3–5. [em]Authors’ agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Feb.) [/em]