Friday, October 28, 2016

Meet the Bobs and Tweets by Pepper Springfield, illustrated by Kristy Caldwell

I have mixed feelings about this title. Despite the less-than-stellar reviews, I requested it specifically because this year I have a population of very young kids with high reading levels (a three year old who reads chapter books, etc.).

The Bobs are a family of slobs (all except for Bob Seven). They are kicked out for being so messy and noisy and quick-thinking real-estate agent Mo sells them a new house on Bonefish Street. At the same time, the Tweets, a family of obsessive cleaners, are looking for a new home as well. Except for Tweet Seven. She's untidy, lazy, and doesn't like to participate in all the organized activities of the Tweets. Once again, Mo sells a house on Bonefish Street. When the two families meet at the pool, a wild fight ensues! Will there every be a peaceful solution? Maybe. Sort of.

The Seuss-inspired art is colorful and cartoonish, showing the wacky and eccentric Blobs and the super-tidy Tweets. Silly details like Tweet Seven's Pretty Kitty and Bob Seven's carefully organized wardrobes point up their differences in their own families. The story is written in brisk rhyme that sometimes falters unsteadily or hits bumps. More troubling is the small type; for a book aimed at beginning chapter readers, the smaller, faint type will be the most difficult aspect of the book.

There isn't a really strong plot here, or much of a plot at all. None of the characters have personalities beyond their outward appearance and the Seven's sudden friendship seems unrealistic. Sometimes the art doesn't completely match up with the text, as on the odd frowns on the Tweets' faces on the last page.

Verdict: While this isn't a first choice for beginning chapter books and is unlikely to appeal to older children, younger, strong readers may enjoy the light-hearted goofiness in this homage to Dr. Seuss.

ISBN: 9780545870726; Published 2016 by Scholastic; Review copy provided by the publisher

No comments: