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...
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.