A bad habit nipped, so to speak, in the bud.
Afflicted with a bad case of shyness on his first day of school, little Billy Goat—prompted by helpful classmate Ducky—tries to join Bunny, Piggy and Lambkin in play. When his whispered requests don’t get their attention, he resorts to sharper measures…and then again when Piggy objects to his pushy behavior. Once everybody’s crying, Ducky rushes over to demonstrate a more sharing way to play, finally getting all to agree that “Teeth are for biting food, not for biting friends.” Williams suspends stubby-limbed nestlings, depicted with broad crayon and brushstrokes, in white space, and though Billy and Bunny sport similarly rabbitlike ears, the playmates are easy enough to tell apart. Along with Ford’s explanations of what’s going down (“Billy was getting frustrated. So he bit Lambkin on her chubby little arm, really hard”), the range of postures and expressions provide clear cues to the incident’s emotional highs and lows.
The morsels of behavioral insight, along with Ducky’s peacemaking, give this as much instructional value for adults as it does for little diaper-wearing beasties. (Picture book. 3-5)