Rescue Squad: I'll Save You, Bobo by Eileen and Marc Rosenthal
WILLY IS HAVING A HARD TIME READING.
Willy is all settled in a comfy armchair, his sock monkey Bobo beside him, and a book about a really big dinosaur open on his lap. But things just aren't working out.
Earl the Cat obviously feels left out, and keeps trying to work his way into that cozy storytime setting. He jumps on Willy's head, and when Willy shoos him away, he jumps on the back of the chair, leans over, and puts his paws on the open book.
"GO AWAY, EARL!"
Willy manages to get to the book's conclusion as Earl sits to the side, contemplating his next move. Willy finds the ending very unsatisfactory. This dino only eats trees! Boring.
"LET'S WRITE OUR OWN BOOK, BOBO!
YOU'LL HAVE A SCARY ADVENTURE, AND I'LL SAVE YOU."
Willy gathers paper, pencils, and crayons and stretches out on the floor and begins illustrating and narrating his story for Bobo as he draws. There's a jungle (where monkeys come from, he points out) and a snake that scares the illustration of Earl away.
"AND WE HAVE A TENT!"
Earl obviously wants to be part of this jungle adventure. He sits on Willy's drawings, he stalks Bobo from outside the tent, and he finds a way to collapse the whole fantasy along with Willy's tent. Even when Willy's drawings show Earl eaten by a giant snake, the real-life Earl continues to get into the act, finally pouncing and making off with Bobo in the midst of Willy's fictional rescue.
Two's company and three's a crowd. It's an ongoing skirmish between Earl the Cat and the would-be twosome Willy and Bobo, in Eileen and Marc Rosenthal's latest in this series, I'll Save You Bobo! (Athenium, 2012), another episode in the cat vs. sock monkey saga which began with the Rosenthal's first hit, I Must Have Bobo! (Atheneum, 2011). Marc Rosenthal's cartoon-type panels, with a very animated Willy and a totally deadpan but somehow expressive Earl, work well with Eileen Rosenthal's wry and lean text to make a funny tale that kids will love.