Meet the Bobs and Tweets
By Pepper Springfield, Illustrated by Kristy Caldwell
Published by: Scholastic Inc. (June 28, 2016)
Available in: hardcover, paperback, Kindle, NOOK, audible
At the time of this review this was a standalone book, but a series is planned.
Meet the Bobs and Tweets is an obvious homage to Dr. Seuss’s canon of work. The language is zany and alive, with a rhythm that hops off the tongue and bops through the lines:
“This pool is for swimmers who live on our street.
A nice, safe, cool spot for We-Who-Are-Neat.”
“Not!” yell the Bobs. “We do not think so! No way!”
This pool is a great place for Slobs-Hard-At-Play.”
As you see from the example, the plot centers on one tidy family and one messy family. The youngest of each is the opposite, and they are the catalyst for a happy conclusion. It’s a cute, smart little story arc.
Part of the reason Theodor Geisel’s work is still considered brilliant is the absolutely smooth rhythm in each line and stanza. It’s hard to be brilliant, and unfortunately this text proves that fact. The cadence of the prose sometimes loses its lilt, either from too many or too few syllables per line, or from the use of a word that has an emphasis on the wrong syllable to fit the established beat. These bring a stilted motion to the act of reading, which, as a writer, makes me cringe. Kids… well, they probably won’t care.
Followers of this blog know there have been many posts about what actually determines a chapter book, and there is a question of where this book falls: chapter book or easy reader? Although it mimics a chapter book, this is probably better considered a lengthy easy reader with chapters. Thus, if parents of a newly independent reader want to get this book, great–but maybe also get another to satisfy the amount of reading your child can now handle. For those children just transitioning from easy readers to chapter books, or reluctant independent readers, this would be a perfect choice: fun, alive, hilarious, just a little bit bad (blame those sloppy Bobs), and packed with wild but more reality-based Suessian illustrations.
What do you say teachers, parents and writers? Use the comment below and let’s chat….