Silly Billy!

Pat Hutchins, Author Greenwillow Books $14 (1p) ISBN 978-0-688-10817-5
In this slight picture book, Hazel discovers that being a big sister can really try a girl's patience. Baby Billy wants to do everything Hazel does, even though he's much too young to attempt such activities. Nevertheless, Grandpa, Grandma, Ma and Pa insist that Hazel allow Billy to play since ``he's only little.'' After the tot upsets a board game, topples the dollhouse and dismantles a train set, Hazel devises a clever plan to get ``Silly Billy'' out of her hair. Hutchins's ( One Hunter ; The Doorbell Rang ) simple, repetitive text accurately captures the often frustrating realities of coping with siblings. There's not much drama here, but Hazel's quiet, winning triumph gives the story a boost. Hutchins's combination of watercolor and pen-and-ink produces an airy effect that gives her green monster family lots of panache. Their bright clothes, rosy cheeks and long claw-like digits are almost delicate. Billy's semi-destructive messes are often eye-catching jumbles of color. To Hutchins's credit, her characters never lose their cool; imbuing both art and text with a jovial mood and a sense of familial affection. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1992
Release date: 09/01/1992
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-0-688-10818-2
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