Bob, by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead

Bob, by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead (Feiwel & Friends, May 2018), is a charmer.  In all honesty, I was a bit surprised when I found myself charmed.  This is because I find the idea of small green creatures (possibly zombies) wearing chicken suits of questionable quality, lurking forgotten in the closet of your bedroom at grandma's house (when you are already feeling strange and lonely) to be really, really unappealing.

Bob, the small  creature in question, turned out not to be zombie (yay!), but  instead a truly sympathetic character, and even the chicken suit ended up being heartwarming.

Livy met Bob five years ago, the last time she left America to visit her grandmother in Australia.  Now she's back, to stay there on her own.  She feels there's something she's forgotten, and she was right--she doesn't remember Bob.  But he's been remembering her all these years, waiting inside her bedroom closet for her to come back, and help him with his own remembering--he doesn't know who he is, where he came from, or even if he had a family of his own.  Livy is taken aback to find him in the closet, but gradually her memories start coming back...and all the clues about who Bob really is start coming together.

And in the meantime, her grandmother's part of Australia is being hit hard by a horrible drought...and magically, Bob might just be the answer to that problem.

So it's both a magical helper friendship story, and a story about family and human friendships and growing up (a bit, not all the way).  It all ends up working beautifully, with plenty of humor accompanying the more central issues.  It's odd and quirky, but convincing enough so that even readers who generally enjoy more realistic fiction can appreciate it.

It's written in alternating view points from Livy and Bob, and though I know nothing about how the two authors collaborated, Bob feels more like Wendy Mass (the quirky fantasy) and Livy more like Rebecca Stead (the beautifully written realistic part).

disclaimer: review copy received from the publisher


  1. This made me think of The Nargun and the Stars, an Australian fantasy I read so long ago I can't really remember it, but there was an odd creature who makes friends with a child. I'm a fan of that trope, though I agree the chicken suit is a little off-putting!


Free Blog Counter

Button styles