When Willy gets out of bed, he can’t find Bobo. What an upset! Arms raised, eyes and mouth open wide, Willy proclaims: “I need Bobo. Bobo helps me with everything.” Children will recognize the comical overstatement since Bobo is, well, a sock monkey, but they will also empathize as, in the next few pages, they see how Willy is brave with Bobo in tow. Together, they can face bitey-bugs, go down the slide, even walk past the big dog. All is resolved when Willy pulls back the blanket to find his cat Earl cuddling Bobo . . . or is it?
Willy and Bobo begin their daily activities, but it appears Earl needs Bobo, too. Youngsters quickly realize they must keep their eyes on Earl as he stealthily slides into every scene to snatch Bobo away. This is easy to do. The illustrations are line art; color is only used on the three featured characters. As Willy hunts for Bobo anew, children will be bouncing with anticipation because they can see what Willy cannot: Earl sneaking Bobo away for a cat nap. When Willy decides not to fight them and instead joins them for a snooze, there is, with the flip of the page, one more great escape that will leave readers giggling.
Preschoolers will be fascinated by the intertwined storylines here, Earl’s revealed entirely through the art and Willy’s response, primarily in text, to the conflicting needs of his cat. The humor of the situation will not be lost on them either, for the coveted Bobo is completely limp and impassive throughout the shenanigans. Look forward to more adventures in I’ll Save You Bobo!
Reviewed by JMcD
THEMES: BEHAVIOR. CATS. COMPETITION. HUMOR. PETS. TOYS.
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011
Suggested Ages: 2-6