Hello, friends! Our book today is Bolivar by Sean Rubin, a phenomenal modern fairy tale of a dinosaur in the big city.
Young Sybil, a school-age girl living in a New York brownstone apartment, has quite the dilemma. You see, despite numerous attempts, she can’t convince anyone in her life that her next door neighbor is a dinosaur. Even her mother scoffs at the idea – after all, everyone knows that dinosaurs are extinct. Except… they’re not. Bolivar, a mild-mannered, modestly-sized (though still quite large) theropod, is the last dinosaur anywhere. And since he prefers not to be noticed, he’s made his home in New York City, a place where everyone is far too busy to take note of a dinosaur. Bolivar goes about his day, getting his NEW YORKER from the newsstand, shopping for old books, dining on corned beef sandwiches in cafes, and no one notices, all too consumed in their own lives to spot the massive yet quiet dinosaur in their midst. Everyone except Sybil, of course. And in her quest to prove Bolivar’s existence, she ends up setting into motion a chain of events that brings them adventure, friendship, and parking tickets.
We. LOVED. This. Right off the bat, this mashup of picture book, early reader, and graphic novel is not a quick read; it took JJ and I about half an hour to cover the story, and twice as long to pour back over the gorgeously detailed illustrations of the city that never sleeps. But JJ was riveted, and so was I – this modern take on classic tropes like “fish out of water” and “a day in the city” are made delightful with a fresh, wonderfully funny story and a thoughtful commentary on the connections we make with others. Readers will immediately fall for the timid, gentle Bolivar and the tenacious yet kindly Sybil. And the art – intricate, lovingly and painstakingly illustrated scenes of the city and her people – is a marvel. This one may take a few sittings to get through for younger bookworms, but I promise – it’s well worth the ride. Baby Bookworm approved!