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Book Review: The Day My Family Disappeared by Jo Simmons (Barrington Stoke)

Illustrated by Lee Cosgrove


For ages 9+

What a great pairing this author and illustrator duo are for this funny and heart-warming story!

About the book

Being the youngest isn't going too well for Bob Bunyon, especially when all his older siblings and parents have some sort of mega talent or hobby that means they're super confident and happy.... Dad plays the banjo, India's an amazing baker, Cosmo's a street-dancer, Arwen's an opera singer, River has awesome circus skills, and Mum's a nature poet!! Bob.... well... he's kind of into just normal stuff like watching TV, eating crisps and hanging out with his mate.

One day it all just gets too much and Bob makes a wish... "I wish you'd all just go away!"

The next morning the house is eerily quiet, at first Bob doesn't think much of it, not too worried helping himself to cream cakes from the fridge... but as time passes he heads outside where he finds the streets deserted too. What has happened!?

Children will really enjoy working through the clues to find out where his family have disappeared to. Bob's journey to be reunited with them becomes a journey that gradually boosts his self-esteem and self-worth many will find comfort from. Packed with heaps of funny moments, and a collective sign of relief when Bob realises that perhaps there hasn't been an alien invasion or apocalypse!

About the creators

Jo Simmons (author)

Jo Simmons is the author of several hilarious books for young readers including Lollies Book Awards-shortlisted ‘I Swapped My Brother on the Internet’, ‘My Parents Cancelled My Birthday’, and ‘I Stole My Genius Sister’s Brain’. Jo began her working life as a sub editor on magazines in London and later became a freelance journalist. She started writing for children when her two boys were young and hungry for daft and silly stories to make bedtime more fun.

Lee Cosgrove (illustrator)

Lee Cosgrove is a life-long doodler and children’s illustrator from the UK. Working as a full time illustrator for the last 10 years Lee has enjoyed working on a wide range of projects from illustrating picture books, to board games, to billboards.

Key themes


fitting in

finding your voice



Grab a copy

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Publication date: 1 September 2022

Format: Paperback

*My review copy was kindly sent to me by the publisher.

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