Mo and Jo are fun-loving cavemen whose antics will surely delight kids, especially boys. Follow them as they attempt to de-stink themselves, play hide-and-seek, and stay warm.
What People are Saying
Selected for School Library Journal’s “10 to Note: Fall Preview 2014” list
“I’m always on the lookout for early readers, and this book from the Jump Into Chapters series by Blue Apple Books is one that stood out to me. Mo and Jo speak ‘cavemen-ese’, an excellent device for emerging readers who need things to be basic. And with stories about odd smells and games of hide and peek, it sounds funny too.” – Travis Jonker, School Library Journal
“As Tammi Sauer so ably demonstrated in Me Want Pet! (BCCB 4/12), the truncated, half-grunted dialogue that we collectively attribute to stereotyped cavemen makes superb fodder for beginning readers. The cave boy brothers Mo and Jo Boulder (yes, they do live anachronistically with mammoths and dinos—get over it) debut in three chapter-length comic adventures, mashing up standard full-page picture- book illustrations with the word bubbles and narration boxes of graphic novels. Their first issue is olfactory. Something stinks, and although the viewer will readily identify a giggling skunk as the culprit, Mo and Jo exchange accusations: Mo’s pits? Jo’s feet? Their filthy cave? Next comes a clumsy game of hide-and-seek, in which Mo has a hard time explaining the rules to a willing but addled Jo. Finally, the brothers are cold, and they try unsuccessfully to muster ideas from nature to address the problem (beating rock against rock, or against turtle; sticking bird feathers to their skin; pulling fur off a bear—never a good idea) until they realize that a cave filled with friends generates heat and amity. Collet-Derby’s illustrations feature a palette of bold earth tones, with touches of contrasting color for background figures; thoughtful design helps newbies to distinguish the two boys—Mo with his red shoulder-draped animal hide and white speech bubbles, and Jo with his boxer-styled hide and black speech bubbles. A limited vocabulary, oversized font, and lots of word repetition will quickly build reader’s confidence, and the goofy mini-plots and earthy humor will have them looking for the sequel.” – The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Meet the Boulder Brothers, Mo and Jo, in this new beginning reader series. In three short chapters, these silly caveboys attempt to eliminate a cave odor, learn how to play hide-and-seek, and solve the problem of being cold. Each spread offers one or two sentences from the narrator, while Mo and Jo’s speech bubbles leave out some words, resulting in simplified cave speak. For instance, on one spread the narrator explains, “Jo sees some birds. The birds do not look cold.” Meanwhile Mo and Jo say, “Feathers keep warm” and “Need feathers.” The uncomplicated illustrations are presented in colors and hues perfectly suited for a caveman setting. The book is slightly larger and thicker than a typical book in the new reader’s section, giving the impression of a “sizable” read yet the word count is only a step above Mo Willems’s “Elephant and Piggie” titles (Hyperion). In fact, these caveboys’ antics are sure to attract Willems’s readers who are ready to move on to other titles. VERDICT Funny and adventurous, Mo and Jo will appeal to new readers, even though parents may be concerned about proper grammar.” – School Library Journal
“Mo stinks. His brother, Jo, stinks. It’s not altogether surprising, since the two caveboys live in, well, an equally stinky cave. These self-sufficient prehistoric siblings eventually come to the logical conclusions of “WE NEED BATH!” and “Scrub cave!,” so they get to cleaning themselves, their cave, and a disgruntled nearby skunk. In chapter 2, the Boulder Brothers play a tricky game of hide-and-seek, though Jo has some trouble with the rules. And in the third and final chapter, they search for ways to stay cozy on a cold day and come up with an ingenious and heartwarming solution: “More friends. More warm.” The bold orange-and-brown illustrations are loosely in the style of cave drawings, though the two brothers are thoroughly modern in their mischievous attitudes and escapades. Lynn’s dialogue, consisting of basic vocabulary words; chuckleworthy narration; and large-format, easy-to-read layout are endearingly entertaining and create fun and accessible experiences for a new reader. Sure to leave young fans demanding more! More Mo! More Jo!” — Maggie Reagan, Booklist