cover image Billy & Milly, Short & Silly

Billy & Milly, Short & Silly

Eve B. Feldman. Putnam Publishing Group, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-24651-7

Feldman (Animals Don't Wear Pajamas) uses just three or four rhyming words to tell each of the 13 (very) short stories starring the titular hero and heroine. In ""Bike/Spike/Hike,"" Billy is stuck pushing his bicycle up a hill after hitting a tack-like object. ""Flame/Blame/Shame/Tame"" finds Milly teaching a naughty dragon that it's not nice to barbeque someone else's toy; the dragon makes up for the transgression by giving Milly a magical ride on its back. While some of the stories are more successful than others, the diverse and often fantastical premises are entertaining, and all the vignettes are elevated by Mourning's (Princess Peepers) stylish artwork. The mixed media collages evoke a hip playfulness with a hodgepodge of typography and retro wallpaper textures, though the Bratz doll-like leads have a somewhat limited expressive range. While the stories are short, the book itself isn't short on ingenuity. Ages 3-5.