Meet the Bobs and Tweets, Vol #1
In first identifying why I so enjoyed reading Meet the Bobs and Tweets it was difficult to parse if I more enjoyed Pepper Springfield’s rich rhyming verses and energetic storytelling style, or if I was more immediately drawn to the exceptional cartooning and sequential art showcased by illustrator Kristy Caldwell. Their collaboration has produced a short but compelling your reader book bursting with energy and a subtle lesson on cooperation, compromise and friendship that I very much enjoyed sharing with my children.
I would not be surprised if the writing drew comparisons (lofty as they may be) to Dr. Seuss as Springfield’s flowing, rhyming text evokes the same kind of tongue-tying experience without stopping the momentum of the plot. That is to say the style routinely evokes a feeling of whimsy, but not at the cost of slowing down the narrative to untangle what was just said. In that way this book practically begs to be read aloud, and read more than once. Even at the short length this book also finds greater density in its ability to juggle the word art relation. Springfield’s narrative is so full of odd little details, that I found myself jumping between the art and the text continuously, line by line, to see how the artist would depict this fantastical mess the title characters find themselves in.
Which brings us to the work of Kristy Caldwell. If your kids enjoy the kind of hyper stylized and brimming with emotion cartooning that has popularized itself in Teen Titans GO!, Adventure Time, The Fairly Odd Parents, then they will be instantly drawn to this work. Caldwell’s art communicates the world of Bobs and Tweets not only by its richness of setting but more importantly by the characterization of the title characters which feel fully realized and relatable, again without losing the energy and momentum that make this book so fun. This is a subtle but important distinction, the art and the text completely complement each other in this book to drive the plot like a rocket, they feel impossible to divorce from one another which is something that all picture books, graphics novels, comics attempt to achieve and very few do as seamlessly as the creative team showcased here.
We are all treated to a very nice message on the nature of understanding and compromise as the orderly tweets and the disastrously dirty bobs attempt to peacefully co-exist on the street they have been relocated to. This is a perfect jumping off point for discussions about tolerance, and the ability to understand and compromise with those who are different from ourselves (a lesson I sent with my children into their classroom the morning after we finished the first volume). That said, above all else this book is simply fun, fun, fun, and I was delighted to find that a 2nd volume Bobs and Tweets Perfecto Pet Show was available for purchase, as I will make plans to return to this bright, fun, energetic world as often as possible.
Reviewed by : Lawrence N. Caldwell.
CRITICS HAVE SAID
- “Fantastic book! Great stories paired with FANATIC illustrations!”