Monday, July 13, 2020

Middle Grade Monday and Audiobook Review: The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate

Image: HarperCollins Publishers

The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate. Unabridged audiobook on three compact discs. 3 3/4 hours. Read by Danny DiVito. HarperAudio, May, 2020. 9780063012646. Review of purchased audiobook.

Happy Monday TMS Readers! I hope your summer is going well and you are reading! Middle Grade Monday features The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate. You may recall that I sported a giant "Ask me about Bob" pin on my lanyard before our shift to virtual learning. 

Bob was a character in Ms. Applegate's Newbery Medal-winning, The One and Only Ivan. This companion novel picks up where Ivan left off. You need not have read The One and Only Ivan. The One and Only Bob stands alone nicely. Like Ivan, Bob is told in short chapters and paragraphs with plenty of white space. It is illustrated by Patricia Casteleo.

Bob is happy in his new life having been adopted by Julia and her family. He's loved and fed regularly; but best of all, he still gets to see Ivan and Ruby in their new home. He's a dog with few regrets except he often thinks about his sister, his littermate who was dumped with him next to a highway. When a tornado damages the zoo, Bob is ready to rise to the challenge.

This first-person, er, first-dog narration charms and excites as readers learn to love Bob as much as they do Ivan. Here is a link to Ms. Applegate reading the beginning of The One and Only Bob. Here is also a link to the movie trailer for The One and Only Ivan, which will stream on Disney+ starting August 18. 

I think I would've enjoyed The One and Only Bob more had I read it with my eyes. I learned of the audiobook and film while listening to a webcast a month or so ago. I thought it would be charming and delightful. Instead, I found Danny DiVito's narration a tad over-the-top and the pace choppy. 

Danny DiVito was the voice of Bob in the movie and so seemed to be a natural choice as narrator of the audio version. I didn't really love the audio version of The One and Only Ivan either. I read that with my eyes first and loved it. I had a voice in my head and the narrator didn't match it. I also talked about the powerful use of white space in my review that the audio cannot convey. 

In the movie trailer, DiVito's voice seemed perfect for Bob. Over the long haul of the book, it just sort of grated for me. Stick with reading this one with your eyes. 

No comments:

Post a Comment