A large-print debut picture book showcases the many tasks that Bobcat trucks can accomplish.
“This is Bob. His full name is Bobcat!” exclaims the enthusiastic introductory caption in this volume. The work consists of nearly full-page color photos of various Bobcat trucks accompanied by brief captions, typically a sentence or two. With the second caption noting, “Bob comes in many shapes,” the text then proceeds to focus largely on these vehicles’ numerous capabilities—how they can scoop snow, lift blocks, build walls, lay pipe, etc. The last caption presents a culmination of the celebration: “Bob on the job! With help, a tread, and a scoop, he scoops dirt!” The book also provides a sprinkling of holiday themes, with one photo revealing a Bobcat with a “Happy Mother’s Day” sign on it and the caption explaining, “Bob works on Mother’s Day,” and another page displaying a Bobcat planting a Christmas tree. Many of the photos include construction-type workers with the Bobcats, although one page features a photo of a child at the wheel of a Bobcat with an accompanying caption underscoring the importance of people in operating this vehicle: “Bob needs help to go.” In similar fashion, there are pages dedicated to depicting a Bobcat being towed to a job and a worker pushing along a truck with the caption “Bob helped on the job.” Gebhart, who holds graduate degrees in operations management and science education, demonstrates his love of the science of machinery in this tale focused on—and excited about—the multidimensional functionality of these vehicles. The author’s deft shortening of Bobcat to “Bob” makes these trucks anthropomorphic and accessible to his target audience. Gebhart could have dug even deeper to develop this book, perhaps with more details about the different Bobcat variations and a fully shaped story about a particular Bob. Still, the volume delivers a pleasing conversation starter in its current form.
A charming tale that offers parents an opportunity to teach their young children about the versatility of trucks.