Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Billy McGill is ALONE! Until…

ALONE!, by Barry Falls, (March 2021, Pavilion), $16.95, ISBN: 9781843654858

Ages 3-6

This rhyming, cumulative tale is hilarious fun with a seek-and-find. Billy McGill is a boy who lives all alone on the top of a hill, and he’s very happy that way: until a mouse finds his way into Billy’s home! Naturally, Billy has to get back to the status quo, so he goes and gets a cat, which leads to getting a dog, a bear, a tiger, and ultimately, a veterinarian to check on the tiger, who’s developed a cold. When the vet brings in a friend and his son, Billy has had far too much and heads out to find a place where he can be ALONE. But he discovers that maybe being all alone all the time isn’t so great after all. A humorous story with a good message about the need for both having one’s own space and making time for connection, ALONE! is a relatable book, especially these days when so many of us are living on top of one another. Readers are challenged to look for the tiny mouse in every spread – he’s not always that easy to find! – and the friendly, colorful art invites readers to join right in with the fun. A good rhyme scheme, a funny story, and definite flannel potential makes this a delightful storytime choice.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

It’s Your World Now! gives kids Three Golden Rules

It’s Your World Now!, by Barry Falls, (July 2019, Pavilion), $16.95, ISBN: 9781843654315

Ages 3-7

Written as a love letter from a parent or caregiver to a child, It’s Your World Now is all about giving kids the three most important things they need to know: 1) the world is full of marvelous things; 2) things won’t always go their way; and, most importantly, 3) above all else, they are loved. Teaching kids to shoot for the stars, to be resilient, and to know they are loved above all things, It’s Your World Now is this generation’s Oh, The Places You Will Go! It’s us, handing the world over to our kids, letting them know that they can do anything; be anything; urging them to strive for everything, but to be realistic and understand that sometimes, things just aren’t going to go the way they want. That people are going to talk down to them, or assume that they know more. That’s okay – it’s been happening since the dawn of time. But the narrator reminds our kids that their lives are theirs, to do their own thing, and trust in themselves at the end of the day. And through these ups and downs, the knowledge that they are loved – so, so, very much – is something that will never change. It’s an inspirational, loving story that’s meant to inspire and lift our kids up, while giving us the nudge that we may need to keep going, too.

Bright, bold artwork throughout the book features kids and grownups alike, walking together in an exciting riot of color and images: Michelangelo’s David with a keyboard guitar; giant rubber ducks float in the water. Children see themselves as judges, doctors, deep-sea divers in old-fashioned bell helmets, or ride on a rocket ship through the stars. Endpapers sports birds, planets, and books, letting readers know that something exciting is about to happen.

It’s Your World Now! is a nice storytime selection and a great gift idea for the kid who means the world to you.