Billie B. Brown (of the eponymous beginning chapter-book series) is now featured in a younger version for the preschool set.
With two adventures published simultaneously (Billie’s Underwater Adventure, 2016), Rippin explores young frustrations and the power of imaginative play. In this escapade, black-haired, pink-cheeked Billie is angry at her teacher, Miss Amy, who won’t let Billie stomp outside in the puddles. Instead, she says rainy days should be used for reading. Billie sulks, hidden among the cushions in the classroom’s reading nook. But thanks to her sandy-haired white friend Jack’s imagination, the cushions suddenly become a cave. Dressed in stereotypical Arabian garb, Billie and Jack discover a secret treasure, are chased by 40 thieves, and ride a magic carpet. All before snack time! Highlighted action words such as “scramble,” “wriggle,” and “wrestle” expand readers’ vocabularies, while the preschool setting (and corresponding emotions) is familiar. The imaginary stereotypical turbaned, bearded, and scimitar-waving thieves strike an off note, but for the most part, Coburn’s delicate illustrations and the small trim size make this a tiny gem of discovery.
Make-believe play where imagination soars. (Picture book. 3-6)