Bobs and Tweets: Perfecto Pet Show
written by Pepper Springfield; illustrated by Kristy Caldwell
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
"Take home this flyer to share our Big News."
"Oh no," sighs Dean Bob. "I wish could refuse.
My Bobs will be rowdy. Noisy. Not cool.
I worry so much when my Bobs come to school."
Dean Bob likes things neat, but his Bob family flies by their seat. Lou Tweet doesn't mind things out of place, only her Tweets want to clean every space. Two friends who are opposite and manage to make the most of it.
It's an exciting day in Ms. Pat's class. She has brought two green parakeets, a cat named Donald Crews (not the last of literary references), an eel, an iguana, and a piglet named Pippi (told you). Why bring the animal menagerie? To announce the school's first Kid-Pet Talent Show. At first, Bob and Lou are a little blue. Bob dreads his family being too noisy while Lou envisions her Tweets arriving way early and cleaning the front row of seats. Nonetheless, both friends move forward with show plans. The Tweets offer a smooth and clean jazz number, but Lou counters with rock and roll with Pretty Kitty. The Bobs boost themselves as a backup band to Dean, but he decides to play his banjo solo with Chopper his dog singing along. His only request is for his family to behave. As Lou predicted, the Tweets leave four hours early so they can clean house in the school auditorium. A funny thing happens on the way to Bonefish Street School. The Tweets run into an unexpected skateboard ramp, built by the Bobs, while riding their bikes on Bonefish Lane. A crash ensues and the Tweets are in a heap of trouble. Fortunately, the Bobs are summoned and escort the bruised Tweets to the show. On stage, Dean Bob is a nervous wreck. Chopper is howling the tune, but he is alone as Dean can't pluck a thing on the banjo. To the rescue comes Lou Tweet and Pretty Kitty and the timid twosome changes into a pulse-quickening quartet. The Pet Show is saved!
Young readers are drawn to contrasting characters. Having whole families being opposite is even more fun. Everyone can relate to the adversarial clean and messy. I don't know too many of us who don't fall into one or the other category. The illustrations are delightful in playing up the differences. This appealing rhyming early reader (no easy feat to rhyme this much text) also carries a gentle and fun message about being a friend. We don't have to be just alike to care about one another's feelings and lend a helping hand if needed. As for teachers, Perfecto Pet Show is an opportunity to practice observing character traits, comparing and contrasting, shared reading, and working on problem/solution. Getting to know the Bobs and Tweets will be a treat for early chapter book readers.