“Billy can be very difficult to please.” Well, that’s an understatement. In the picture book, Whatever, by William Bee, all that ever comes out of Billy’s mouth is, “Whatever.” Billy’s dad spends the length of the book trying to get some sort of reaction out of Billy. He shows him something very tall, and something very small. He shows him the world’s smokiest train and the world’s curliest trumpet, and even flies with Billy to the edge of outer space. “Whatever,” Billy keeps saying. Then, Billy’s dad tries to scare him with the world’s hungriest tiger and, well… I won’t give away the ending. But even if you think you can guess what happens, I’m sure the ending will still make you smile. I love this book! I also have to wonder if William Bee got his inspiration from Maurice Sendak’s Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue. I read Pierre a few months ago, after a friend of mine recalled reading it when he was young. I’d never heard of it, but was interested because of the author. Published in 1962, the library’s copy isn’t so pretty anymore, but the story hasn’t lost its charm. For everything Pierre’s parents try to do to please him, all he will say is, “I don’t care!” And just like Billy, Pierre has a little encounter with a lion. Both of these books are great for a chuckle.
Submitted by Erin E., Youth Programming Coodinator