by Sean Rubin
Air Date/Time September 13, 3 pm (Central)
1st ed., 224 pages, hardcover, Archaia
What would you do if your neighbor was a dinosaur?
Sybil knows that there is something off about her next door neighbor, but she can’t seem to get anyone to believe her. Everyone is so busy going about their days in the busy streets of New York City that they don’t notice Bolivar. They don’t notice his odd height, his tiny arms, or his long tail. No one but Sybil sees that Bolivar is a dinosaur.
When an unlikely parking ticket pulls Bolivar into an adventure from City Hall to New York’s Natural History Museum, he must finally make a choice: Bolivar can continue to live unnoticed, or he can let the city see who he really is. (Junior Library Guild Selection).
Ages 8 and up, Grades 4-6, Lexile: 550.
From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Eight-year-old Sybil lives in Manhattan, on West 78th Street, next door to Bolivar, the world’s last dinosaur. Bolivar loves corned beef sandwiches, bookstores, museums, and jazz—but he hates attention. That’s why he lives in the most frenetic city in the world, where everyone is much too busy to notice him. That is, everyone except Sybil. Despite Sybil’s efforts, no one believes in Bolivar’s existence. But when the dinosaur must sort out an unjust parking ticket, his privacy slips, and he and Sybil must deal with the consequences. This hybrid picture book/graphic novel relies on a combination of text, speech balloons, comic panels, and panoramic illustrations. The speech balloons are all color-coded, making it easy to tell who is talking, and the narrative is divided into five chapters each about the length of a traditional picture book. Detailed images feature lots of crosshatching and many hidden delights. The characters are appealing and made distinct by wonderful use of color; Sybil stands out with her bright yellow school uniform, and gray-green Bolivar easily blends in with the scenery. VERDICT This brilliantly drawn story will resonate with a wide audience. Read it aloud chapter by chapter with younger kids, who will enjoy pointing out the hidden details, or give it to independent readers. Pair it with Nadja Spiegelman’s Lost in NYC and Zack Lieberman and Louis Neubert’s Max & Charlie for a trio of titles that burst with lovely artwork and a wealth of affection for New York.—Kelley Gile, Cheshire Public Library, CT