The Two Bobbies
by Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery
Illustrated by Jean Cassels
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
How can friends help each other when times get tough? Hurricane Katrina left many family pets homeless and alone. This book tells the story of two pets that helped each other survive a hopeless situation and find a new home. Their remarkable loyalty and perseverance inspires readers to find inner strength. The story of the two Bobbies challenges us to bring out the best in ourselves and others. This is a story of love and rescue.
ASK: What does loyalty mean? In what ways can friends be loyal?
SHOW: Look at the neighborhood on the cover. What do you think happened in this neighborhood? Do you think anybody lives in these houses? What can you tell about these pets from the picture?
CONNECT: Look up New Orleans on a US map. Look at the proximity to the ocean. A hurricane is a severe storm that comes off the water. Each year, the people who live in the hurricane areas prepare for the storm. The year of the storm in this story, people were told to leave their homes and find shelter far away because Hurricane Katrina was going to be big. People who went to a shelter were not allowed to bring their pets.
ASK: Do you think this is a true story? What clues tell you that? How long ago was 2005?
SHOW: Look at the food, water, and chain on the second page of the story. From this picture, do you think you can tell how long the owners thought they’d be gone? If they couldn’t take their pets along, what was the best way to protect their pets while they were gone?
CONNECT: What do you think it was like in the flooded New Orleans neighborhoods after the hurricane? How must the pets have felt? What do you think the Xs painted on the door mean?
ASK: How did Bobbi help Bob Cat during their adventure? How did Bob Cat help Bobbi? What can we learn about helping others from their story?
SHOW: Look back through the book for any hints in the story or pictures that Bob Cat was blind. Why do you think everyone was stunned when they found out that Bob Cat was blind? Define stunned. Were you surprised?
CONNECT: Why do you think the shelter required Melinda to spend a night with the two Bobbies before she could take them home? Do you think that is a good idea?
Contact a local animal shelter to ask if they have any needs that you can help them with. Offer to bake treats or raise money for food or supplies.
Walk around the house blindfolded. Try it three ways: without any help, with someone near you making a noise, and with someone holding your arm. Discuss what was frightening and helpful about each way of walking blind.
Read more about Hurricane Katrina and about the pets who lost their homes. Talk about the help that came from around the country to rebuild homes and feed the homeless people. Discuss why people helped strangers after this disaster.
Discuss how helping others makes us feel better. When you know you are really helping someone, does it make you try harder to do your best, like Bobbi?
Write a list of acts of kindness you can do as a family for a neighbor or friend. Pick your favorite idea and do it. Talk about how the person reacted to your act of kindness.
Talk about acts of kindness people have done for you.
Discuss why so many people wanted to adopt the two Bobbies after they were on television. How do you feel about Bobbi and Bob Cat?
It didn’t seem like Bobbi and Bob Cat had anything at all. But each pet had exactly what the other pet needed. You may think you don’t have anything to offer a friend, but you do. Try to think of what you are good at that you could share with someone. Come up with a list of your good traits and skills.