Tell Me the Day Backwards by Albert Lamb, illustrated by David McPhail
Released March 22, 2011
Timmy Bear and Mama play a game before he goes to sleep. They tell each other their day backwards. The story they tell one another is filled with special moments together like watching the sunset and having a picnic. Then there are moments of fear, and told backwards they make it even more of an event. The story builds nicely as readers discover exactly what led to Timmy Bear jumping from a high rock into the river. The story ends as it began, with Timmy Bear in bed and Mama at his side, creating a beautiful circle of a story.
Lamb’s writing here has such a gentle feel, it is perfect for a bedtime story. The adventure portion in the middle keeps this from being too soft and gentle, adding a great story arc to the book that is sure to have young readers listening intently. The exchanges between Mama and Timmy in the book have a touch of humor and a great deal of love.
McPhail’s art captures the story with his usual style. His illustrations are soft watercolors that work for both the active portions of the book and the slower parts. He manages to capture so much emotion, action and movement in only a few lines. The illustrations are simple and lovely.
This book belongs in every library and will make a wonderful gift book for toddlers who just may have similar adventures in a given day. After reading the book it is impossible not to want to tell your day backwards, so if sharing with a group, you may have to have an activity of writing or drawing their day backwards. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from ARC received from Candlewick.