cover image Tell Me the Day Backwards

Tell Me the Day Backwards

Albert Lamb, illus. by David McPhail, Candlewick, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5055-1

A classic theme—a bedtime recounting of the day's happenings between parent and child—is creatively tweaked in this warmhearted book by the creators of Sam's Winter Hat. As Mama Bear tucks Timmy Bear into bed, he suggests they play a game of rehashing their day in reverse, beginning with brushing his teeth in the stream by moonlight. At his mother's gentle prompting ("What happened before that?"), he recalls watching the sunset and having a picnic supper with his parents, as well as such scary experiences as encountering a large fish underwater and being chased by bees. When Timmy can't remember what happened next—actually before—Mama helps, as they rewind the day to morning, when the family awoke from its winter hibernation. McPhail's spare, pastel-hued illustrations enhance the tale's timeless charm. Rendered in watercolor, pen, and sepia ink, the pictures clearly portray Timmy's curiosity and liveliness, as well as the affectionate bond between the bear and his parents. The plot's contrivance creates a game within a game—kids will have fun discovering the cause behind the effect in each of the day's events. Ages 3–6. (Mar.)