Title: Dewey Bob
Author & Illustrator: Judy Schachner
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015
Themes: raccoons, friendship, collecting,
Includes bonus CD read by author
Dewey Bob Crockett was born in the pocket of an old pair of pants.
Dewey Bob Crockett is a raccoon who collects things: buttons, odds and ends, and more. He moves out of “the family pants” where he was born, into a cozy oak tree, and sets about tidying, decorating and filling it with his prized buttons, the art he creates out of found and collected things. He realizes that while collecting buttons and experiences is just swell, nothing is quite as sweet as when it is shared with friends. He proceeds to head out and pile in as many new friends as he can into his shopping cart, but keeping them is another story. They all flee except a mud ball that doesn’t move. Dewey takes the mud ball, which he calls a puppy home and washes it off only to discover discovers a critter (kitten) whose hind legs don’t work. So Dewey being the creative and kind sort he is, he builds Mudball a pair of wheels out of buttons and odds and ends. He is ecstatic about the pleasure this bring to Mudball but knowing it is a wild critter, opens the door and lets it go.
Why I like this book:
“There’s only so much a heart can hold,” said Dewey, opening up an old glass jar, “before it begins to overflow.”
This new picture book from Judy Schachner (Skippyjon Jones) is overflowing with heart, beautiful language and poignancy. She is a storyteller par excellence and this story is reminiscent to me of picture books of my youth, with more words and a fully realized character that kids will want to know more about. The language is melodic and charming and rhyming portions are used judiciously. This story with the themes of the need, and finding and giving of friendship tugs on the heart strings. Dewey Bob’s journey is both an adventure story about a young raccoon setting to find his way out in the world, but also a tale about getting to know yourself. Of course the inclusion of a physically challenged little kitten is just purfect.
The Illustrations are vibrant and as passionate and colorful as Dewey Bob’s love of collecting, creating and washing! Judy notes that the illustrations were created in acrylics, gouache, collage, mixed media, and the kitchen sink. Art and heart join together to make a story that will bear repeated retellings and a dialect and singing text that beg to be spoken allowed.
This should find its way into libraries and classrooms and into the hands of all who love a good story. Also children will love the embossed title and button on the cover.
Find out what the children and their families collect?
Don’t miss my interview with the author/ illustrator, Judy Shachner, where she shares about the creation of Dewey Bob.
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.