Robert's Snow
Booker, Canadian Lit Awards

A Chicken's Journey: "Bob," by Tracey Campbell Pearson

Tracey Campbell Pearson's Bob is the best picture book about animal sounds that I've read in eons. In her picaresque cumulative tale, the author-illustrator balances vivid art, memorable characters, and comedy. Bob the rooster is in search of a voice—a crow, in fact. But how to? The path to cock-a-doodle-do-dom takes some twists before he finds the ideal instruction. A cat named Henrietta tells him how to meow, some cows tell him how to moo, and so on.

At one point Bob stands  alone in some deep-dark woods, far from home, feeling sure someone is following him.

Then a stranger called out, "Whooo? Whooo? Whooo?"
Not wanting to be rude, Bob whispered, "Bob, Bob, Bob."
Again the stranger asked, "Whooo? Whooo? Whooo?"
And again Bob whispered, "Bob, Bob, Bob."
And so it went all night long, over and over again...

Imagedbcgi_2 Bob eventually meets the right teacher—on the road, no less—and what Bob makes of his entire education leads to a final, goofy scene of triumph.

Pearson's detailed pencil-and-watercolor illustrations work hand in hand with the text, adding humor and enhancing character development. The greens of a country summer, the herringbone pattern of Bob's black-and-white feathers, and the pale blues and purples of sunrise, among other hues, highlight the warmhearted nature of this story.

Bob
by Tracey Campbell Pearson
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2002
ISBN-13: 9780374399573   

Comments

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Oh!! I hope Lemuria has this book. My niece is having a birthday at the end of the month. I love the cover, probably because of my chickens. Thanks!

That "whooo" bit had me laughing, Wisteria. I really loved the illustrations; the artist/author took such care. As you can tell, Bob is a beautiful Plymouth Rock--just like our Bossy and Petunia! I hope Lemuria has "Bob," too, though it is an "older" book.

I LOVE THIS BOOK! The "Bob Bob" whispers crack me up every time.

By the way, ever seen Naomi Shihab Nye's lullaby book with the chicken in the window? I thought of you all!

I love it, too, Jules; the "Bob, Bob, Bob" is the best! And, no, I haven't seen that Naomi Shihab Nye book; I must look for it. Thanks.

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