Synopses & Reviews
Ever since Angus was a wee baby monster, living below the surface of Loch Ness, his parents tried to teach him to be a proper monster. But as Angus grows bigger, he gets sloppy. Puggy-nit shells (peanuts) are piling up; his grottie (dirty) laundry is in a heap; tatties (potatoes) litter the floor. Itand#8217;s a mountain of a mess! And as Angusand#8217;s trash heap grows, pushing him away from the comforts of home, a surprising Loch Ness sighting of his own awaits on the surface of the lake.... and#160; Fans of Hooway for Wodney Watand#160;and Tacky the Penguin will laugh-out-loud, as the hilarious team of Lester and Munsinger share a rollicking reminder of the virtues of a clean room!
When his parents threaten to teach him responsibility by giving him a whale, Billy Twitters isn't worried: "It's not like you can just have one delivered to your house overnight." But he's wrong. Rex's (Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich) howler of a double-page spread shows an enormous trailer attached to a "FedUp" truck, an equally massive blue whale suspended from tow straps. Rex's Mad magazine style artwork-realistic enough to drive home the humor and full of clever touches-is the perfect choice for Barnett's high-concept debut. Billy hauls the whale to school behind his bike, a skateboard under the creature for easier sliding; confronts the school bully and the school geek (new allies, in league against him); and struggles with blue whale upkeep, like collecting 10,000 gallons of seawater at mealtime ("Try the ocean, son," his father suggests). Billy never names his whale-it's more of a burden than a pet. The abrupt ending disappoints somewhat, given the uproarious pages that precede it (the contributors also work in scientific information about blue whales-though readers, between laughs, may not notice). Still, tons of fun.--PW
Readers know what kind of place they are in when the endpapers include ads for giant-squid repellent and shrimp-of-the-month club and the author and illustrator snark at each other in the dedication. Billy Twitters's room looks much as one might expect: unmade bed, piles of dirty and clean clothes, video games, books, backpack and stuffed toys everywhere. Billy's mom tells him plainly that he's to clean up his room and finish his dinner or "we're buying you a blue whale." He doesn't, and they do. While Rex never reveals the faces of the adults, he does provide nicely detailed diagrams of the size and habits of the blue whale (from FedUp, "Delivering Punishment Worldwide"). Billy has to take his whale everywhere, even though the whale kind of wrecks the classroom and moves Alexis to un-invite Billy and the whale to her pool party. However, the prospect of feeding his whale inspires Billy to a damp and fishy but very boylike solution to the problem of both room-cleaning and whale-sitting. Definitely funny and slyly subversive.--Kirkus
A headlong plunge into surrealism ensues when Billy Twitters's parents punish him by giving him a blue whale. The cleverness is in the idea's literal-mindedness--Billy thinking "I feel like something's watching me" as he eats his cereal, one very large eye visible behind him, and then hauling the whale to school on his bicycle. It's not supposed to make sense, and, amusingly, it doesn't.--NYTBR
Billy Twitters's parents don't mess around when doling out punishments. When the boy fails to clean his room, brush his teeth, and finish his baked peas, they buy him a blue whale. It arrives via FedUp (motto: "Delivering Punishment Worldwide"), and it's up to Billy to take care of it. Rex's goofy illustrations blend the realistic with the fantastic, as in a giant wordless spread of Billy pedaling furiously on his bike, towing the whale behind on a skateboard as the beast's bulk takes out telephone poles and traffic lights. At school, things don't improve; a teacher gives a whale lecture instead of showing a promised cowboy movie, and Billy is uninvited from a pool party when the hostess learns he would have to bring the cetacean. And he soon finds that gathering thousands of krill for its dinner is tough work. At last, after cleaning out the whale's stinky mouth, Billy decides that it's a pretty peaceful place, and he decides to move in. That's a strange ending for an odd story, but young readers will likely enjoy the ridiculous premise, and the many whale facts worked seamlessly into the tale. Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD--SLJ
"Believable, appealing characters and pitch-perfect pacing combine nicely with Lester's always-humorous text and Munsinger's hilariously detailed illustrations in this cheerful cautionary tale."
"Munsinger's ink-and-watercolor illustrations add to the story's deadpan humor, and although this is a message book, the lesson is delivered with such hilarity it never feels preachy."
"Munsinger's watercolor illustrators are bursting with detail, energy, and wittiness, and the three animals that spot Angus and frighten him are quite funny. Youngsters will fall in love with Angus, and adult will appreciate the laugh-out-loud lessons Angus learns about the hazards of a messy bedroom."
and#8212;School Library Journal
"Lester and Munsinger are masters of conveying useful messages in a funny and non-didactic way, and Angus's tale is no exception."
When Billy Twitters neglects to clean his room, among other things, his mom threatens to buy him a blue whale. So Billy figures he's safe--where the heck's she gonna get a blue whale--and continues his slovenly ways. Then one day, an oversized package arrives, and guess who has to sign for it? And feed it? And bring it to school? And back home again? If Mrs. Twitters thinks Billy's has time to clean his room now, she's got another thing coming. Luckily Billy comes up with the perfect solution.
The uproarious debut from picture book phenom Mac Barnett is a surreal cautionary tale--illustrated by bestselling talent Adam Rex
Some interesting facts about blue whales: A blue whale is longer than thirty dogs lined up nose to tail. Its tongue weighs as much as four hundred cats. Consequently, blue whales make terrible pets...just ask Billy Twitters. When his parents threaten to teach him responsibility by giving him a whale, Billy isn't worried: 'It's not like you can just have one delivered to your house overnight.' But he's wrong. It arrives via FedUp (motto: 'Delivering Punishment Worldwide'), and it's up to Billy to take care of it
"Tons of fun."--Publishers Weekly
Don't miss these other books by Mac Barnett
Chloe and the Lion
How This Book Was Made
Rules of the House
On No (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World)
Oh No Not Again (Or How I Built a Time Machine to Save History)
A blue whale is longer than thirty dogs lined up nose to tail. Its tongue weighs as much as four hundred cats. Blue whales make terrible pets....Just ask Billy Twitters.
When Billy Twitters fails to clean his room (again), his mom makes good on a threat to buy him a pet. However, the pet he gets is a blue whale. Luckily, Billy knows just what to do with it, in this hilarious tale of a boy and his whale. Full color.
Angus, the not-so-neat Loch Ness monster,and#160;learns thatand#160;tidying up is part of growing up in this hilarious picture book by Helen Lester and Lynn Munsinger,and#160;acclaimed creators of Tacky the Penguin and Wodney Wat. and#160;
About the Author
is a writer living in Los Angeles, CA. He's also the Executive Director of 826LA, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center, and founder of the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, a convenience store for time travelers (seriously). Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem
is his first picture book.
Adam Rex (www.adamrex.com) is the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich. His other books include Pssst!, The True Meaning of Smekday, The Dirty Cowboy (written by Amy Timberlake) and the Lucy Rose series (written by Katy Kelly). He lives in Philadelphia.