BILLY’S BIG-BOY BED

Billy is growing up and out of his crib in this issue-specific story. The little tyke enjoys shopping with his parents for a new big-boy bed, but when it is installed in his room, he’s very reluctant to move out of his crib. It’s in his crib, after all, where he can play bus driver and pirate captain. But most of all, his crib is the reliable safe-haven where he and his six teddy bears cozy in for the night. As Billy grows into the idea his first step is to gradually move his teddy bears to the new, bigger bed. It isn’t too long, however, before Billy himself makes the move. Throughout, Billy’s parents have shown gentle patience in the face of Billy’s ambivalence. They let him get used to the idea at his own pace. In a way that the words do not, Tildes’s (Baby Face, not reviewed, etc.) artwork will draw children in. They can’t help but enjoy the array of teddy bears, each charmingly unique. Drawn with a loving hand, the watercolor illustrations are gentle and realistic; Billy’s expressive face is adorable. This piece seems aimed at parents, instructing them on how best to deal with a child’s reluctance to change. It lacks any real story power, and toddlers may find it less than engrossing—but those who can apply the bed scenario to other life challenges will relate with Billy as he finds that growing up can be daunting. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-57091-475-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2002

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The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon.

GOODNIGHT, NUMBERS

This bedtime book offers simple rhymes, celebrates the numbers one through 10, and encourages the counting of objects.

Each double-page spread shows a different toddler-and-caregiver pair, with careful attention to different skin tones, hair types, genders, and eye shapes. The pastel palette and soft, rounded contours of people and things add to the sleepy litany of the poems, beginning with “Goodnight, one fork. / Goodnight, one spoon. / Goodnight, one bowl. / I’ll see you soon.” With each number comes a different part in a toddler’s evening routine, including dinner, putting away toys, bathtime, and a bedtime story. The white backgrounds of the pages help to emphasize the bold representations of the numbers in both written and numerical forms. Each spread gives multiple opportunities to practice counting to its particular number; for example, the page for “four” includes four bottles of shampoo and four inlaid dots on a stool—beyond the four objects mentioned in the accompanying rhyme. Each home’s décor, and the array and types of toys and accoutrements within, shows a decidedly upscale, Western milieu. This seems compatible with the patronizing author’s note to adults, which accuses “the media” of indoctrinating children with fear of math “in our country.” Regardless, this sweet treatment of numbers and counting may be good prophylaxis against math phobia.

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF

In this entry in the Growing Tree series, the publisher copyrights the text, while Carpenter provides illustrations for the story; here, the three billy goats named Gruff play on a nasty troll’s greed to get where the grass is greenest. Logic has never been the long suit of this tale: Instead of letting the two smaller billy goats be terrorized by the mean and ugly troll, children wonder, why doesn’t the biggest billy goat step in sooner? It’s still a good introduction to comparatives, and the repetitiveness of the story invites participation. The artwork matches the story: The characters are suitably menacing, quivering, or stalwart, and the perspectives allow readers to be right there in the thick of the action. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 30, 1998

ISBN: 0-694-01033-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1998

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