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BILLY AND BELLE by Sarah Garland


by Sarah Garland & illustrated by Sarah Garland

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-84507-038-0
Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Published in England in 1992, this American edition of a warmhearted picture book is sure to offer reassurance and comfort. Little Belle gets to go to school for the first time with her big brother Billy, because Mum is going to the hospital to have a baby. A comfortable morning chaos with burnt toast and lost socks leads the parents in a cab to the hospital and the kids to school, where Billy shows his pet hamster and Belle has a pet spider. When Belle loses the spider, she releases all the other pets in her search, but everyone claims their own and all is well. Dad makes dinner (“tea” in the British text) and a neighbor sits for the kids while he fetches mom and new baby brother Adam from the hospital. Garland illustrates all of this in limpid, sunny colors and a beautiful, vibrant line; Dad is of African descent, Mum has blonde spiky hair, and all three children are various shades of latte or chocolate. Very nice. (Picture book. 4-7)