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BILLY AND BELLE by Sarah Garland


by Sarah Garland & illustrated by Sarah Garland

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: June 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-670-84396-2
Publisher: Viking

 Today Belle is going to school with big brother Billy for the first time, because Dad (who is black) is taking ``Mom'' (blond) to the hospital: a new baby is coming. It's an exciting day--while trying to find the spider she adopted when she discovered it was ``pet day,'' Belle inadvertently releases all the other pets (tortoise, mouse, caterpillar, etc.), but they're soon found. Home again, after ``tea'' (spaghetti), Dad fetches Mom and baby Adam (the same day). It's good to have a new-baby book that focuses on the drama of the older children's activities. Garland's pleasantly informal illustrations--in varied spreads and frames with the dialogue in comic-strip balloons--nicely convey the family's warmth and the school's lively clutter. But: it's an obviously British book with universal appeal, and multicultural is in--so why these clumsy efforts to deny the authentic setting? (Picture book. 4-8)