Tell me the day backwards
by ; illustrated by McPhail, David
Candlewick Press, 2011
What People Are Saying
From Our Follett Early Learning Experts
Timmy Bear asks his mother to play a game with him at bedtime in which they remember everything he did during the day, but in reverse order.
From the Publisher
In this delightful bedtime story, a young bear tells his mama all about his exciting day — in reverse — inspiring little listeners to do the same.
Just before going to bed, Timmy Bear and his mama play a game they call Tell Me the Day Backwards. Timmy tries to remember everything that happened to him that day in reverse, from watching the sunset on the hill to the picnic supper before that, from being chased by bees to finding honey in an old tree stump, all the way back to waking up that morning from his winter-long hibernation. Albert Lamb and David McPhail spin a charming bedtime story sure to have parents and children sharing their own day — backwards — with each other.
Booklist (March 1, 2011 (Vol. 107, No. 13))
Preschool-Grade 1. When children are asked to make predictions about picture-book plots, it’s usually, “What comes next?” In this tender spin, while Mama Bear tucks Timmy Bear in bed, he says, “Let’s play Tell Me the Day Backwards.” As Timmy recalls each day’s events in reverse, Mama asks what happened before. Timmy remembers sunning himself on a big rock, for instance. And before that he remembers how Papa Bear had to pull him out of the deep river. But why was Timmy in the water? Young children will quickly try to figure out the reason. Lamb’s gentle text, printed in large type, combines with McPhail’s cozy, layered, and always adorable watercolors to create a quiet peacefulness. Additional fun details include Timmy Bear’s human doll and sepia endpapers, reminiscent of the Hundred Acre Wood, which sport a layout of all the scenes. In this bedtime story with a classic feel, Mama and Timmy’s interactive game will inspire parents and children to form new nighttime routines.
Horn Book (Fall 2011)
At bedtime, a mother bear and her cub recollect for each other the events of the day, working backward from evening toward morning. There are enough details--including a hibernation twist--to keep readers interested; Lamb succeeds in making the ordinary elements of a young child's day seem special. McPhail's soft, dreamy watercolor and sepia ink illustrations suit the text's loving warmth.
Kirkus Reviews starred (February 1, 2011)
Gentle storytelling and a clever concept set this bedtime book apart from the pack. A little bear asks his mama to tell him what they did that day, only backwards. Together, the two of them recount Timmy's adventures and quiet moments, from taking an unexpected dip in a pool to eating some delicious honey to seeing a pack of beautiful purple butterflies. When they've gone through the whole day, back to the beginning, Mama reminds Timmy that before anything happened they were hibernating but that tonight they'll just sleep one night. Inspired by a game his own family played, Lamb's simple effect-and-cause backwards progression manages to always make perfect sense. "I ran and jumped off a high, high rock into the deep pool," Timmy recalls. "And before that?" prompts his mother: "I was chased by bees, and they were stinging me!" Kids may take a couple readings to fully grasp the author's intent, but few books illustrate the notion of "before" better than this. McPhail's always playful and evocative illustrations set against a beautiful countryside perfectly capture this original way of remembering a day's events. An exceptional idea and a truly fine follow through. (Picture book. 4-8)
Publishers Weekly (January 24, 2011)
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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal (March 1, 2011)
PreS-K-Timmy Bear climbs into bed and asks his mother to play the Tell Me the Day Backwards game. With her help, he recalls his day in reverse, from brushing his teeth in the river to waking from hibernation that morning. What could be a bland, sweet tale is enlivened by some serious drama. In retrospect, Timmy shares that he almost drowned after bees chased him off a high rock. Why would he jump into the river? The string of events becomes clear as he works back to the point where he found a hollow log with a dusty beehive inside. "And that's when you should have come and found me!" Mama Bear reminds her son. Family love permeates the story, reinforced by creamy paper, warm watercolors, and soft, round shapes. Little details add humor, like a boy doll on Timmy's bed. Sepia-tone endpapers depict the bears' world, allowing readers to retrace the day's events. While bedtime stories abound, not all are equal. Make room on your shelves for this one.-Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, OR (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
- Publisher: Candlewick Press
- Pub. Date: March 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover 36 p. : col. ill. : 24 x 26 cm.
- Age Range: PreK - Grade 1 (3-6 yrs.)
- Reading Level: 2.7 (What’s this?)
- ISBN-10: 0-7636-5055-2
- ISBN-13: 978-0-7636-5055-1
- Follett Number: 0458SK4
- Language: English