- Age Range: 3 - 6 years
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (September 4, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1582348324
- ISBN-13: 978-1582348322
- Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 11.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #703,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bill in a China Shop Hardcover – September 4, 2003
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3-An elegantly dressed bull carefully enters a china shop and shows why the phrase upon which the title plays is so apt. "Frightened by the jarring sound/of china crashing to the ground,/he stumbled toward some figurines/and smashed them into smithereens." A sneering clerk cannot get Bill out fast enough, but when three ladies enter the store, they take pity on the animal and scold the man. They feel sorry for Bill, who is obviously upset, but it's not totally convincing that they would side with him after all of the destruction he has caused. Still, this twist makes for a pleasing ending as the bull gets to host his own tea party, with the women as his guests. The story is slight, though the rhymed text flows smoothly. It's the pen-and-ink watercolors that inject strong doses of humor. Bill's bulging body contrasts with his delicately small hooves, and his tan-and-white head stands out against the grays and blacks of his fine clothing. The bovine's facial expressions perfectly capture his carefulness, his fear as he tries to avoid disaster, and his dismay when things fall apart around him. The humans are enjoyable caricatures, but Bill is the star of the show, and even kids not familiar with the clich will grin at this bull who wants to be dainty.
Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PreS-Gr. 2. First-time author Weaver has written an ode to a bulky bull possessing the soul of a Renaissance poet. When first encountered, Bill is looking for a very delicate china cup to complete his collection. Alas, he's forbidden to enter one china shop after another. Finally, he finds one with no restrictions, and his excitement at actually being allowed in causes a chain of disastrous events that leaves the shop in a shambles. Written in verse, the story explores how assumptions can become self-fulfilling prophecy and ultimately trigger calamitous consequences. In the end, it is the kindness of strangers that rescues the mortified bovine, and, being the gracious host that he is, Bill invites his new lady friends for tea, served, of course, in china cups. Though Weaver's tale is charming enough, it's Raglin's Victorian-style pictures (especially of dapper Bill with his top hat and walking stick) that bring this book to life. Terry Glover
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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