Leon and Bob by Simon James

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK. A quiet reflective book about the unusual friendship shared by Leon and Bob and the sense of fun and fulfilment others can bring into our lives.


Leon and Bob by Simon James

An urban tale about a boy and his imaginary friend. Bob is Leon's best friend. He shares Leon's room. Everywhere Leon goes, Bob goes too. Then one day a boy moves in next door. But when Leon goes to ask his new neighbour to go to the park with him, he discovers Bob has gone.


Delightful pictures and a brilliant, happy ending. The London Parents Guide

About the Author

Simon James

As a child

Simon James grew up in Bristol and Exeter. He was educated at Queen Elizabeth School, Crediton. From an early age, he spent much of his time drawing and stapling stories into little books. His father had lots of books on cartoonists, many of whom Simon tried to copy. His favourites were Ronald Searle and Gerard Hoffnung. He spent the rest of his time climbing trees, saving worms from puddles and worrying about the strange shapes in the curtains at night.

As an adult

After leaving school, Simon had many different jobs, whilst hoping to be a cartoonist. Some time later he went to college to study graphic design and art history. “Whilst working with words and images together, I developed a greater understanding of the techniques used in creating picture books.” he says. After college, Simon went back to spending much of his time drawing and stapling stories into little books – and still does to this day.

As an artist

Simon’s first book, The Day Jake Vacuumed, was published in 1989 – and two more books about Jake soon followed (reissued by Walker in 2002). His first title for Walker Books, My Friend Whale, was the first of several concerned with a child’s relationship with the natural world – Dear Greenpeace, Sally and the Limpet, The Wild Woods and The Birdwatchers have established Simon as one of the country’s leading author/illustrators. Leon and Bob won the Smarties Book Prize Silver Award and was the New York Times' Best Illustrated Book of the Year, and Days Like This, a collection of small poems, was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Baby Brains was the overall winner of the Red House Children's Book Award in 2005, voted for by 25,000 children, and Simon followed up this success with two more Baby Brains titles, Baby Brains Superstar and Baby Brains and RoboMum. Simon continues to be a much sought-after speaker in schools, and at festivals and conferences both in the UK and in the USA.

Things you didn't know about Simon James

As a child Simon wanted to be a stuntman or a cartoonist. He can run very fast. He loves water-pistol fights. He saves worms from the pavement and puts them onto the grass. He doesn’t like coffee or tea, but drinks lots of water After leaving school, he trained to be a police officer but was asked to leave for drawing penguins in his police notebook. His ideal day out is walking with The Adventurers (four children he knows and who feature in his book Days Like This) wading through streams - with rucksacks full of chocolate. He loves music, especially Van Morrison. He can’t sing and has a unique way of dancing His favourite sound is birdsong, especially the songs of blackbirds, skylarks and chaffinches.

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: From 5


Simon James
More books by Simon James

Author's Website



Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

1st September 2008




I love Lovereading because I often never know what to read and this helps you find a good book. I have recommended this to many people.

Shannon-Louise Masters – age 15

We love Lovereading4kids because they put books in front of us we wouldn’t otherwise have read. They make us more adventurous readers!

Emily Jacques

It is THE website to use for narrowing down your search for any book. Definitely knocks the socks off any other book review website.

Nickey and Tomasz Hawryszczuk

Love “Lovereading4kids” as my son gets to hear about & read new books before his mates which keeps him interested in reading=a very happy Mum

Liz Evans

It’s really exciting to read and review new books, thrilling to see my reviews online and I love finding the final published copies on sale.

Sam Harper – age 10

I love Lovereading as it provides an honest opinion and showcases a range of fiction. Suited to both parents & kids alike, it’s a must-use.

Georgie Rowe – age 16

At @HHSHaringey we love @lovereading4kids because our pupils can practice reviewing & get free upcoming books before anyone else!

Helen Swinyard – Heartlands High

Lovereading is just a convenient way to find new books and hear others opinions on them.

Sarah Murray – age 15

Lovereading 4 schools