This charming depiction of dealing with anger via exercise cleverly offers a participatory feature.
When friends Bobby (a panda) and William (a brown, whiskered dog) have an argument, William tells Bobby to “Go on! Just get on your bike and leave!” Filled with anger, Bobby does. He rides through town and into the countryside, through other towns and by a canal. As each scene changes, he grouses resentfully about “buffle-brained,” “pudding-headed” William and asks himself, “Where should I go now?” Of course, he ends up back at William’s house, the anger gone, full of the sights he’s seen and ready with plans to ride with his friend the next day. The illustrations of this somewhat oversized book bleed off the pages, giving readers an expansive sense of the northern European land- and cityscapes beyond their margins. They are busy, filled with clothed animal characters and other details. In this way they are reminiscent of Richard Scarry, but the loose outlines and splashy watercolors lend a tremendous sense of movement. Adding another element is finding the red-hoody–clad Bobby, à la Where’s Waldo, in each of the crowded views. The brief, fluidly translated text is set in a small box in the upper-left corner.
This realistic, constructive portrayal of handling an emotional conflict will resonate with kids. (Picture book. 5-8)