Perfect Picture Book Friday! My Name is Bob by James Bowen and Garry Jenkins

23 May

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because this is an awesome story based on real-life that shows how great friendship can be.

bobMy Name is Bob
By James Bowen and Garry Jenkins
Illustrated by Gerald Kelley
4 – 7 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 2
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Barron’s Educational Series (May 1, 2014)

Theme/Topic- Homelessness/pets

Genre- Realistic Fiction/based on a true story

Opening and Synopsis-

“My name is Bob and I am a street cat. Shall I tell you my story? Then come with me…”

Bob is a homeless, injured kitty. He had a nice home but then lost it. He wanders around trying to find a friend, but no one will pay any attention to him. One day he sees a man who looked like he needed a friend too.  The man helped Bob and Bob helped the man. They are now the best of friends.

Why I liked this book- Here is another story where the back story is as good as the book itself. Mr. Bowen has written an adult book, his memoir about how he and Bob met, called “A Street Cat Named Bob”. In it he tells that he was homeless and addicted to drugs, but caring for Bob made him think of someone besides himself. He helped Bob and Bob helped him. Mr. Bowen wrote another book called “For the Love of Bob” which is a children’s book (middle-grade level) summarizing his memoir. In “My Name is Bob”, the story is retold as a picture book, but from Bob’s point of view. This was a very well-written story! It has an interesting, innocent feel to it. In the book, Bob never said that Mr. Bowen was homeless or addicted to drugs, he just saw a person who looked like he needed a friend. The illustrations by Mr. Kelley are beautiful images that really go with the whole feel of the story. Have a look!



Isn’t that great? The book is based on a true story. It’s not what actually happened to Bob (until he meets Mr. Bowen) but what Mr. Bowen thinks what may have happened to Bob before he came into his life. 



The story shows the power of caring for pets and friendship. The story is awesome. I think I would like to meet Mr. Bowen and Bob. 🙂

Activities and Resources-

Here is Mr. Bowen reading an excerpt from “My Name is Bob” to Bob. 🙂

I saw a short documentary about Mr. Bowen and Bob and in it Mr. Bowen said he wanted people to not just look past a homeless person. I found a fact and lesson plan for young kinds at the website. Click HERE to go to it. It goes over what homelessness is and is good for helping young kids to understand who it happens to and why it may happen and what you can do.

Invite a therapy pet into the classroom or learn more about the power of pets in people’s lives. There is a ton of information about therapy pets at (click HERE) and how to be a therapy volunteer with your pet.

Like The Street Cat Bob on Facebook HERE.

Check out all of Mr. Bowen’s Bob books on his Amazon page HERE.

Follow Bob and Mr. Bowen and Bob on Twitter HERE.
To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

49 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book Friday! My Name is Bob by James Bowen and Garry Jenkins”

  1. Joanne Roberts May 23, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    This is a powerful book. Thank-you for telling us about it. Great links, as always. I can’t wait to introduce Bob and James to my reader friends.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 27, 2014 at 7:17 am #

      I can’t wait to get the middle grade book either! It is such a great story. 🙂


  2. Stacy S. Jensen May 23, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    Thanks for sharing this one. I’m curious about all the different versions of the book. I’ve been a bit absent, but noticed your AR points CONGRATULATIONS! Hope you have a wonderful summer!


  3. Catherine Johnson May 23, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Great find Erik! I once got chatching to a homeless guy in Paris and his wife had left him and it made him sad and he ended up on the streets. They all have a story, they weren’t born on the streets.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 27, 2014 at 7:19 am #

      That’s what Mr. Bowen said in he documentary – that they all have stories and all came from somewhere. Thanks Ms. Johnson!


  4. Joanne Sher May 23, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    This sounds absolutely fascinating – and love that there are so many “versions” for different age. Gonna request this one from my library. Thanks!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 27, 2014 at 7:19 am #

      I think it’s really cool that there are so many versions of the story too. I read that it is going to be a movie too!


  5. Genevieve Petrillo May 23, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    What a fun choice. I am not a fan of cats, but since Mom read the grown-up story of Bob, we are fans of him and his books.

    Love and licks,


  6. Patricia Tilton May 23, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    I love your choice. I am partial to books on homelessness. And the real story behind this one makes it even more powerful!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 27, 2014 at 7:20 am #

      I know you’ll love this one Ms. Tilton. I bet you’d love the adult novel about Mr. Bowen too. 🙂


  7. LovableLobo May 23, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    Ahhhh…. the power of pets in people’s lives. Love the sound of this story. I’m a sucker for an animal tale. Great review, Superkid!


  8. Cathy Ballou Mealey May 23, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

    Bob is certainly a handsome and powerful pet. What a great book, especially for kids who have no idea what life in a big city can be like.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 27, 2014 at 7:22 am #

      He does look very handsome in his scarves. 😉 I love that this book is from Bob’s perspective. 🙂


  9. readingwithrhythm May 23, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    Well, what an incredible story! Stories of being found are really quite inspiring. Looks like I need to read about a cat. Thanks for sharing! Are you considering doing some therapy work with Clyde?


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 27, 2014 at 7:24 am #

      I think Clyde would be an awesome therapy dog! He has such a calm personality (except when it comes to food – he shares just fine, his nose gets him into trouble because he’s a “counter-surfer” as my mom calls him) 😉


      • readingwithrhythm May 27, 2014 at 9:47 am #

        I’m a pretty good counter surfer myself! I might should have a chat with Clyde and help him with his techniques.


      • thiskidreviewsbooks May 27, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

        Oh no I’d be afraid if he got better! Good thing he’s short! 😉


  10. julie rowan zoch May 23, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    I believe showing compassion reveals our own worth faster than anything! Great pick, Erik.


  11. julie rowan zoch May 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

    Should have said ‘self worth’!


  12. Wendy May 23, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    Oh my. Bob and Mr. Bowen just high-fived their way into my heart. This looks like a wonderful book.


  13. jama May 23, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    What a heartwarming story and backstory! Thanks for featuring it, Erik!


  14. Joanna May 23, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    What a terrific story and the form it takes. I want to read the other two books now!


  15. ontheplumtree May 23, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

    Homelessness is one of the most difficult things anyone could face, I LOVE the cat. What a character! This does sound like a lovely story.


  16. Angela Brown May 23, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

    Homelessness is a tough topic to share about with the very young. But told with Bob’s point of view, it sounds like the author and illustrator have put together a great way to approach this matter with young ones.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 27, 2014 at 7:29 am #

      I love that the story is told through Bob’s eyes. I think it makes it very nice for kids. 🙂 Thanks Ms. Brown!


  17. Susanna Leonard Hill May 23, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    Okay. I’m totally hooked! I love that this is based on a true story (which ended happily for everyone!) And I love the excerpt of Mr. Bowen reading to Bob, and the high five 🙂 What a great way to introduce young readers to homelessness in a gentle way. Thanks so much for adding this one to our list, Erik!


  18. Darlene May 24, 2014 at 1:24 am #

    I LOVE Bob! The illustrations are excellent as well. What a wonderful story. Pets are so good for people. How is your new dog doing?


  19. Sue Heavenrich May 24, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    there’s always room for another cat story – especially a cat who’s a hero, and a friend. All the better that it’s a true story.


  20. beleyne May 24, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    I love this book, Erik. It’s just the kind I like to read to my class. Thanks for highlighting it.


  21. writersideup May 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    What a wonderful, uplifting, inspirational story, Erik. SO happy James found Bob or should I say Bob found James 🙂 Love to hear about stuff like this! Thanks for the review, Erik 😀


  22. Jilanne Hoffmann May 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    What a great book! Thanks for reviewing this one!


  23. Myra GB June 9, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    I love picturebooks with equally interesting back stories. Somehow it makes the narrative come even more alive for me, thank you for highlighting this title. And wow, another cat book!


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