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by Kes Gray & illustrated by Garry Parsons

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: June 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7636-2127-7
Publisher: Candlewick

An imaginative boy gets a bucket for his birthday, and when he fills it with water, a deep sea-world emerges. “I can see a rock pool with crabs and seaweed and little shrimpy things,” he reports. “Of course you can, Billy,” says his father. The back and forth banter—boy says he sees ocean creatures, parents wink and nod—gets old in a hurry. Their incessant chiding is just plain mean. But using the boy’s bucket without permission is beyond the pale. Brightly colored illustrations that use striking perspectives help to give visual appeal, but sometimes only create confusion. The way Gray sets it up, Billy is supposed to have the last laugh, though by this point in the story readers will probably just be annoyed. Disappointing. (Picture book. 3-6)