Book Review of Alone!
The Children’s Book Review
Written and Illustrated by Barry Falls
Ages 3-6 | 32 Pages
Publisher: Pavilion Children’s | ISBN-13: 978-1843654858
What to expect: Fun, Rhyming, Friendship, Problem-Solving
Poor Billy McGill. He’d always lived alone in his house on the hill (he’ll tell you so in rhyme). Until one day, he spotted something awful—a squeaky mouse! Realizing that this intrusion could not stand, Billy decided to do something about it. After all, he’d always been alone and intended to keep it that way.
Off Billy goes to the local town and gets a cat. You’d think that would be the end of his mouse problems, but the cat and the mouse discover their mutual love of the chase game, and poor Billy’s house is even more crowded and louder than ever! Thinking a dog will fix the problem, he brings back a dog! You guessed it – the dog is of no help! Billy goes on and on until he’s procured a sheep, a bear, a tiger, a hairdresser with a baby, and a vet, all to no avail!
Billy runs out of the house in a huff and finds a nice quiet hill. But while he’s there, he remembers the little baby. Those thoughts snowballed until Billy ran back home, ready to help everyone he’d gathered in his house. Back down they go, helping each person and animal until everyone is happy and cleanly out the door. Except now, Billy realizes that having guests is kind of fun, at least every once in a while.
Billy and his need for alone and quiet time can be a great jumping-off point for kids who struggle with socializing or who sometimes can be very shy. Like Billy, they can learn that sometimes it’s nice to make friends while still enjoying your own quiet time in your way. Without judgments and with seriously funny rhyming prose, ALONE! is a wonderful book about friendship on your terms. Author and illustrator Barry Falls makes the characters bounce off the page in vibrant color and eye-catching movement. Children will also love to see how Billy solves all of his unique and silly problems.
An excellent book for entertainment or to broach more serious topics, ALONE! is a sure winner!
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About the Author and Illustrator
Barry Falls lectures in illustration at Ulster University as well as working for a range of clients including The New York Times, UNICEF, and The Guardian. His first picture book was It’s Your World Now. Barry lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
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