The plot is a familiar one: A young child and her favorite stuffed friend are separated and then joyously reunited.
Hughes makes her story fresh by endowing her inanimate hero with just a pinch of emotion and awareness while still retaining a realistic tone. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that Lily, the round-cheeked, tousle-haired little girl who appeared previously in Don’t Want to Go (2010), is immediately recognizable as a typical preschooler—and utterly adorable. Bored and just a bit fractious, Lily noodles around, disrupting her mom’s chores and even practicing a bit of passive resistance by going limp when it’s time to leave the house. Once outside, it’s Lily’s casual toss of her stuffed dog Bobbo that lands him on top of a school bus and off on an adventure. While the events are nothing terribly out of the ordinary, Hughes’ pitch-perfect text captures the minimelodrama of loss, remorse, regret and blissful reunion sparked by Lily’s actions. Bobbo, meanwhile, enjoys the feeling of flying like a bird and the experience of being fussed over by a classroom full of kids once he’s found. As always, Hughes’ facility with facial expressions makes her characters especially appealing, with Bobbo in particular benefiting from wide-open eyes and a sweet smile.
Another satisfying domestic drama from veteran author Hughes, this will please old fans and make new ones. (Picture book. 3 to 6)