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Whatever

by William Bee

Published by Candlewick Press, 2005
32 pages
ISBN: 0-7636-2886-7

Ages 4-7

“Billy can be very difficult to please. Show him something very tall … and he’ll say ‘ . . . whatever.’ Show him something very small … and he’ll say ‘whatever.’ ” The curliest trumpet, the bounciest castle – none of the wonders his father points out draw a reaction from the determinedly unimpressed Billy. Even the world’s hungriest tiger only merits a “whatever” -- until the tiger gobbles Billy up. Children will relish the satisfying conclusion, as Billy’s fed-up father retaliates with his own jaded response (you guessed it – “whatever”) to his son’s predicament. William Bee owes a huge debt to Maurice Sendak’s Pierre (Harper & Row, 1962), but his cleverly composed digital illustrations and perfect pacing merit the attention of a new generation of children. Substituting the fresh flavor of “whatever” for Pierre’s “I don’t care” gives the timeless story about the price of rudeness an up-to-the-minute sensibility. Highly Commended, 2006 Charlotte Zolotow Award  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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