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I Must Have Bobo! (Bobo the Sock Monkey)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  767 Ratings  ·  160 Reviews
When Willy woke up there was trouble. Where was Bobo? Willy needs Bobo. But, Earl the cat likes Bobo, too. A favorite toy is hard to share…even when it’s a sock monkey. With sparse text and a modern-nostalgic vibe, this retro-fun book about friends (sock monkeys) and frenemies (devious cats) is an ode to favorite toys everywhere. Oh, Earl! Leave Bobo alone.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Red Dot 2013: Early Readers: LONG LIST
7th out of 48 books — 35 voters
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Community Reviews

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Oct 12, 2014 karen rated it it was amazing
the wonderful tommy tomato gave me this book, and since i rarely review my picture books, i figured now was a good time to start.

this book is so cute!

it is all about a little boy who cannot function without his stuffed monkey, bobo. i can totally relate - if i have to sleep without my bunny, i become very unhappy. i no longer carry him everywhere with me, as i did my entire freshman year of college (job interviews were fun, let me tell you!) earning me the nickname "bunny girl," but i still hav
Mar 30, 2011 Elisabeth rated it it was amazing
This is a heavily requested read-aloud at my house this week. Perfect for preschoolers (Warning! included in the book are the following scary things: bitey bugs, big slides, and oatmeal WITH raisins). I want a print of the illustration of the boy, Bobo and Earl on the couch together - too sweet.
Feb 28, 2011 Betsy rated it liked it
Picture books in which beloved toys go astray are the heart and soul of the industry. The reasons are infinitely clear. When dealing with a four-year-old reader, you want to present them with a tale that taps into their insecurities and fears without going overboard. Showing them losing their mom or dad would be WAY too serious for the format, and that goes for the family pet as well. Better to keep it low-key. In this way books like Knuffle Bunny (in all three of its various incarnations) remai ...more
May 06, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Things I like about this book:

1) the jacket flap is told in rebus pictures
2) the text style is simple like an early reader
3) Earl has the best guilty cat face
4) it ends in a group hug
Nov 28, 2011 Terri rated it liked it
"I Must Have Bobo" deals with the age old dilemma of a child (Earl) losing a beloved belonging - in this case, a sock puppet monkey named "Bobo." Earl soon discovers that his pet (a cat?, Earl, is just as attached to Bobo as he is, and whenever Willy sets Bobo down, Earl runs off with him. Every kid can relate to losing something important to him or her. I still think about the day that my mom sold my wooden doll cradle at a garage sale without asking me - when I was in my twenties! In this sens ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
A boy who is psychologically attached to a toy sock monkey finds it missing one day, only to discover that Earl the cat has taken it. The boy takes it back, only to have Earl sneak off with it again. I'm not sure what the message here is supposed to be. The boy seems to have no thought of sharing. In fact, at one point he builds a "fort" and says "Earl can't come in," which isn't very nice. When the boy has the monkey, Earl the cat watches with a sad look on his face, probably thinking "Why can' ...more
Jan 27, 2014 j rated it really liked it
Recommended to j by: Ariel
Shelves: nina, 2014
I MUST HAVE BOBO... read to me at least four times in a row every day. I MUST ALSO remove the dust jacket before reading it, but also insist that it be put back on if it isn't there before we start.
Sep 09, 2011 Candice rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Sophie
Shelves: picture-books
Willie has a favorite toy - Bobo the sock monkey. Bobo helps Willie with everything. They go down the slide together. Bobo holds Willie's hand when they walk past the big dog. And, just like Willie, Bobo doesn't like raisins in his oatmeal. Somehow Bobo keeps disappearing. It's that evil cat, Earl! The text is minimal, and the illustrations focus on Willie, Bobo, and that despicable Earl. While these three characters are in color, the rest of the picture is outlined in brown on cream pages. This ...more
Jun 01, 2011 Barbara rated it liked it
Shelves: ncbla
Willy does everything with his stuffed monkey, Bobo, but he's not the only one in the house who loves Bobo. His cat, Earl, also loves to cuddle up with Bobo. When Willy wakes up one day and can't find his beloved companion, he seaches everywhere before finding Bobo nestled under the covers with Earl. From there on, the battle is on with Willy trying to keep Bobo to himself, and Earl dragging him off. The simple illustrations capture Willy's determination not to share, and Earl's own persistence ...more
Tiffany Fox
May 16, 2015 Tiffany Fox rated it really liked it
Title: I Must Have Bobo
Author: Eileen Rosenthal
Illustrator: Marc Rosenthal
Publisher/Date: Atheneum Books for Young Readers/ 1/25/2011
Pages/Format: 40/ Hardcover
ISBN: 9781442403772

When Willy woke up there was trouble. Where was Bobo? Willy needs Bobo. But, Earl the cat likes Bobo, too. A favorite toy is hard to share, even when it's a sock monkey. With sparse text and a modern-nostalgic vibe, this retro-fun book about friends (sock monkeys) and frenemies (devious cats) is an ode to favorite toys
Jan 27, 2011 Tatiana rated it really liked it
A simple yet hilarious short account in the day of a young boy named Willy, his favorite stuffed monkey Bobo, and his naughty cat Earl. The author and illustrator captured the humor of Willy and Earl both fighting for Bobo, both needing Bobo for their own reasons. Willy's upset with Earl is understandable, but you give extra points to Earl for persistently trying to sneak away with Bobo. For ages five and up.
May 10, 2011 Melody rated it liked it
An adorable story of a boy and a cat, both of whom LOVE LOVE LOVE Bobo the stuffed toy. The boy keeps taking Bobo, then the cat sneaks in and steals him back again. It's minimalist and spare, the illustrations are so cute, and the story so amusing. It's not The Salamander Room, it's not Robert McCloskey, but it's nevertheless a keeper.
Nov 28, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it
I got surprisingly invested in this battle of wills between Earl and Willy--rooting for Earl all the way. Loved the expressions on the cat, and loved the cat getting the last word. Illustrations of the boy reminded me just a little of Charles Schulz & early Peanuts.
May 16, 2014 Tandie rated it it was amazing
This is so dang cute. A sock monkey named Bobo vs. the kitty cat. Must buy to appease my sock monkey addiction!
Jul 09, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing
My five-year-old son picked this book out from the library this week.

Earl the cat must be related to our Molly Kitten -- they even look alike. And Willy could be my little blond son (whose middle name is William). My son like monkeys, and will play with sock monkeys all day, but at night, when it is time for him to go to sleep, he needs his rabbit, Hop-Hop.

This book is adorable because it is well written and so true to life, and the illustrations are absolutely, wonderfully perfect.

Gregory Walters
Jul 07, 2011 Gregory Walters rated it it was amazing
Linus had his blanket, but most of us clung to a stuffed animal during our younger years. Mine was a well-chewed grey dog named Woofie that disappeared for years, only to turn up at the bottom of our deep freezer in the basement. I still blame my sister.

In I Must Have Bobo!, Willy's morning gets off to a rocky start when he discovers that his beloved socky monkey has vanished. Billy is distraught. How can he cope with all the uncertainties in life without Bobo?!

The story is a delightful battle
Erin Prosser
Jan 31, 2013 Erin Prosser rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 04, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Minimalist and retro are the words that come to mind with the illustations particularly and this book in general. Author Eileen Rosenthal's husband Marc Rosenthal is the illustrator and his digitally colored pencil drawings contain the bare minimum to get the story across. The majority of almost every page consists of the cream background color with just the characters (Willy, Bobo the sock monkey stuffed animal, and Earl the cat) drawn in and colored along with a few supporting details on each ...more
Mar 25, 2013 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, pets, 2013
When I saw the title of this book, I just knew we had to borrow it from our local library. The title is short, with such an urgent, almost desperate appeal to it - I just knew that our girls would walk around the house all the next day shouting, "I Must Have Bobo!"

As I read the book aloud with our girls I felt like I needed to channel my inner King Julien III from the movie Madagascar. There's no way that I can imitate the voice, but he has that same demanding, almost whiny kind of plea to his
Jul 11, 2014 Ariel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pb
This is the first in Eileen Rosenthal's wonderful "Bobo" series about a little boy, his beloved sock monkey Bobo, and his playful nemesis, Earl the cat, who is forever stealing Bobo--and of course, Earl steals the show even more often. His wonderfully expressive ears tilt at radical angles to express his annoyance and frustration when the boy ignores him for Bobo's sake or gets Bobo back. We wind up cheering for Earl every time he succeeds in dragging Bobo off in his mouth.

This is such a great b
Feb 28, 2011 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
I Must Have Bobo! by Eileen Rosenthal, illustrated by Marc Rosenthal is a book about the dreaded times when toys go missing. In this case the missing toy is a sock monkey named Bobo who is beloved by both a boy, Willy, and a cat named Earl. Willy needs Bobo to be there as a security blanket when he faces a steep slide or a scary dog. Waking up with Bobo gone is just wrong.

When Willy wakes up to find Bobo gone, he searches until he discovers that Earl has dragged him off. An epic battle of wills
Apr 30, 2015 Chrystina rated it liked it
This is a picture book about a boy and his toy monkey BoBo. While the boy was playing they boys cat Earl kept stealing BoBo. This book is intended for pre-k to kindergarden. I really enjoyed this book. I think young kids would really enjoy and find the story funny. The only thing that I didn't really like about this book was the illustrations. I think they looked like doodles, they didn't have much detail.
Jun 11, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it
What was your childhood most favorite toy?
Mine were a cheap, locally-produced, plastic jumbo jet with Garuda Indonesia logo sticker on its tail, and a made from metal and plastic Taiwan-produced toy bus. By combining those two with other toys, I've played countless times which scenario mostly was plane hijacking by a terrorist group. Sometimes, if I could borrow fire-spitting giant lizard that is Godzilla from a neighbor kid, I could add a different twist to the plot.
Now the kid in this lovable
Jul 17, 2014 Diane rated it liked it
"When Willie woke up, there was big trouble."

So begins the tale of a young boy searching for his beloved stuff toy and the ornery cat, Earl, who keeps taking it. Readers are in on Earl's secret because the illustrations let the reader know before the boy what Earl is up to. Young students will relate to the boy's "need for Bobo" who makes him brave and helps him through his day.
Oct 26, 2015 June rated it liked it
Recommends it for: cat and/or toy requests
Recommended to June by: Elaine Pelton
Shelves: picture-book, toys, cat
A boy can't find his toy. The cat has taken a liking to it and keeps stealing it. It may be a little on the small size for story times, but my story times have gotten smaller with schools having PreK-3s. Might try it with my cat or toy story time. Hope to revisit after using it.
Jennifer Heise
Mar 02, 2015 Jennifer Heise rated it it was ok
This is a really cute book, but since my six year old never was strongly identified with a stuffed animal to begin with and is a bit old for this book as well, he wasn't enthused.

I thought the story of the back-and-forth between the child and the cat for possession of the stuffed toy was really cute and that a child familiar with cats who had a relatively strong attachment to a stuffed animal (though not *too* strong) would enjoy it and giggle at it. The spare line drawings were somewhat New Yor
Jan 02, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I selected this book because of the sock-monkey. Well, maybe BoBo isn't a sock monkey, but that's what my first thought was when I saw him. The sparse text of this story is perfect for the meaningful illustrations. Bold colors and strong lines clearly evoke plenty of ideas here. A boy who loves is cuddly monkey wakes to find BoBo is missing. He begins looking for BoBo and find the cat has taken BoBo. apparently the cat loves BoBo too. I found the emotional quality of this book to be similar to K ...more
Dec 31, 2015 Sheila rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 2-4 year olds
The little boy must have his stuffed monkey Bobo but the cat also likes Bobo and wants him. I loved the hunt and elusiveness of Bobo. Compromise is what is needed here. This is funny and cute for the little ones
Nov 10, 2011 Nielson rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Did you ever have a favorite something whether it was a stuffed animal, blanket, or toy that you just couldn't live without? In this case, it is Bobo. Little boy Willy does absolutely everything with his stuffed monkey, Bobo. But when he wakes up one morning to find that Bobo is missing, there is trouble! Laugh along as Willy searches for Bobo while we find out that Earl, the cat, is just as fond of Bobo.
This is a very simple book with simple text and pictures. I'm not a huge fan of the retro,
Jul 06, 2012 Jackie rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
You might think that just because it's a picture book, it doesn't have to be particularly witty, original, or even coherent--pretty pictures are the only requirements for a decent read for a kid who probably can't. But I disagree. As authors like Mo Willems and Ian Falconer have shown us, adults, and indeed people of all ages, should be able to delight in the words and visuals of such books. However, this is not an example. The illustrations are just OK and the story truly dull. The cat Earl kee ...more
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