The Amazing Adventures of Bumblebee Boy by David Soman and Jacky Davis. When Ladybug Girl first came out a few years ago, I loved it, but the premise of a preschooler left out by her older siblings needing to come up with her own superhero way to play didn’t quite mesh with our family. My son, then an only child, had never been left out of the older kids games and couldn’t quite relate. He and I both loved the next book in the series, Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy, where Lulu and her friend Sam take multiple tries to come up with a way to play together and end up having a fabulous playground adventure as the titular superheroes. We actually bought this one, and I brought it up for years whenever the boy had his frequent similar difficulties playing with his friends. There have been other books in this series, but this one has been the first since Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy that once again grabbed the whole family with that perfect balance of real-life dilemmas and fabulous but true-to-life imaginary adventures. In this book, Sam – probably aged 4 or 5 – is playing Bumblebee Boy at home, when his little brother, probably around 2, keeps wanting to join the game. What to do? “Bumblebee Boy flies alone” – but Owen is really determined about wanting to join in. And Bumblebee Boy, busy with pirates, saber-toothed lions, bank robbers and aliens, might find that he needs an assistant. The illustrations alternate between showing the real and imaginary worlds, and the endpapers look like they could be photocopied and cut out for action paper dolls of Bumblebee Boy, Owen and their enemies. Once again Soman and Davis have made a hit for everyone in my family.
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