cover image BILL IN A CHINA SHOP


Diane Z. Shore, Katie McAllaster Weaver, Katie Weaver, , illus. by Tim Raglin. . Bloomsbury, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-58234-832-2

First-time author Weaver whips up a rollicking rhyme featuring a bull named Bill. Hardly a garden-variety bovine, Bill is a most dapper Victorian gentleman who "felt a certain thrilling chill/ each time he saw a china shop—/ the teacups made his heart flip-flop." Most shops post prohibitive signs ("Bulls keep out"), but one day he spies a store without one—along with a must-have teacup. Bill manages not to knock anything over until startled by a sneering clerk, and then disaster strikes, with predictable results. Weaver's rhyming couplets propel the action ("Frightened by the jarring sound/ of china crashing to the ground,/ he stumbled toward some figurines/ and smashed them into smithereens"), while Raglin's pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations dryly evoke Victorian notions of propriety, from the meticulous cross-hatching on a morning-suited Bill's herringbone trousers to the fussy ferns that adorn his over-decorated abode. Accident-prone children (and what children are not?) may find this outing just their cup of tea. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)