Bolivar Eats New York: A Discovery Adventure™
Written and Illustrated by Sean Rubin
24 Pages Ages 5—8
Genre: Children’s Picture Book, Fiction
Themes: Seek-N=Find Book, New York City, Food
When Sybil learns that Bolivar only likes corned beef sandwiches, she informs him that he’s been missing out on one of the great attributes of New York City and its rich communities—delicacies from around the world! Knishes! Falafel! Dim Sum! And it wouldn’t be a story in the Big Apple without pizza . . . Explore the five boroughs: Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, and Manhattan in this lushly illustrated Discovery Adventure™ from Eisner nominated writer and artist Sean Rubin where kids and parents alike search for their favorite foods, and explore sites unique to one of the greatest cities in the world! (from back cover)
You ordered a corned beef sandwich . . . again? [asked Sylvia]
So what? [said Bolivar]
It’s all you eat! Don’t you like any other food?
. . . No.
Why I like this book
Bolivar is a greenish-grey dinosaur living in New York City where he believes no one will notice him. But Sylvia, his next-door neighbor, does notice Bolivar and they’ve become fast friends, albeit reluctantly for Bolivar. They met in November of 2017 in the first book simply titled, Bolivar. Bolivar is about Sylvia convincing others, unsuccessfully, about Bolivar’s existence. He is the last living dinosuar! Seems no one in New York City pays him any mind, which is just what Bolivar prefers.
In Bolivar Eats New York, the pair wanders around New York City’s five boroughs, as Sylvia tries to enlighten Bolivar’s taste buds for something other than the corned beef sandwiches he has always eaten and only eaten, three meals a day—maybe more, as he is a big dinosaur. The various eateries are not real, but sound a lot like those found in New York City. The story begins at Kanofsky’s Delicatessen in Manhattan, home of the corned beef sandwich Bolivar loves. Then it is off to the gastronomies of the other four boroughs.
At each place the pair stops, readers get a list of common food items in a menu-style sidebar. They are challenged to find all the items, hence the “Discover Adventure.” Differently colored dialogue balloons denote who is speaking. Sylvia’s balloons are yellow, Bolivar’s green, and anyone else’s are blue. Keeping with Bolivar’s desire to hide in plain sight, his greenish-grey tone blends into each scene, while Sylvia stands out in her yellow coat and green boots.
Bolivar Eats New York sticks to being a picture book except in the first and the final spreads when a comic panel fills the bottom half of the pages. Fans of Bolivar will recognize the shift in genre from the first book, which is a picture book/graphic novel hybrid.
Young children will enjoy pointing out the food items, while parents will enjoy the brightly stocked spreads with many, many things for them to see. If you think finding Waldo is difficult, you have yet to try to find a celery soda. I am still looking (and wondering if such a soda actually exists).
My favorite line is the punchline . . . ‘nuff said.
Available at Amazon
Bolivar Eats New York: A Discovery Adventure™. Text Copyright © 2019 by Sean Rubin. Published by Archaia / Boom Entertainment, Los Angeles CA.
Copyright © 2019 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved