Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book three hundred and forty-eight

All of us have things that we do when we are nervous or anxious. We try to think of happy thoughts, we whisper a calming mantra under our breath, or we hold onto some kind of talisman or good luck charm that makes us feel safe. Children will often rely on an imaginary friend in times of trouble. They have an invisible child or animal who is always there when life is frightening.

In today's picture book you will meet a little boy who has just such a friend, an invisible little boy who knows just how he feels, and who comforts him.

Leon and BobLeon and Bob
Simon James
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Candlewick Press, 2006, 978-0763626860
   Leon and his mother have moved to a new home in town. Though no one knows it except Leon, Bob has also moved into the home. Leon is the only person who can see Bob, and having Bob around helps Leon feel less alone. Bob is with him when Leon walks to school, and he is there when Leon reads the letters his father (who is in the army) sends him.
   One day, Leon notices that a new family is moving in next door. Leon sees that the family includes a boy who seems friendly. Leon decides that he will go and visit the new boy in the morning. He will have Bob with him to support him if he feels nervous. Or maybe not.
   Many children have imaginary friends to help them get through hard times. This warm and sensitive picture book is a tribute to all those invisible friends who have helped countless children find their way. Young readers will be delighted to discover that the new boy next door has a little surprise of his own.

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