Lamb, Albert. 2011. TELL ME THE DAY BACKWARDS. Ill. by David McPhail. Somerville, MA: Candlewick. ISBN 9780763650551 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-2]
As Timmy Bear is getting ready to go to bed, he asks his mother to play the game “Tell Me the Day Backwards.” Timmy starts with happy memories of brushing his teeth in the stream, watching the beautiful sunset with his parents, and enjoying a picnic supper. Soon he is recalling the more exciting events of his day like being rescued from the deep pool by his father, swimming away from scary fish, and running from swarming bees after eating their honey. By the time the game is finished, Timmy is calmly drifting off to sleep.
Lamb’s gentle bedtime story encourages children to remember their day backwards. Young and old readers will enjoy sharing their own memories of the day in reverse as they read about Timmy’s adventures. McPhail’s muted watercolor illustrations perfectly capture the loving tone of the story. The use of a font in sepia ink complements the warm images of the happy bear family. Decorative endpapers feature a map of Timmy’s home, including hints of the day’s events, and provide a nice touch to this charming book. Young children will request repeated readings of Timmy Bear’s backwards day.
This book would be an excellent choice for a quiet, bedtime story. Adults can also share this tale with groups of children and lead them in writing stories about their own day backwards.
Other bedtime stories for young children:
Brown, Margaret Wise. GOODNIGHT MOON. ISBN 9780060775858
Dewdney, Anna. LLAMA LLAMA RED PAJAMA. ISBN 9780670059836
Waddell, Martin. CAN’T YOU SLEEP, LITTLE BEAR? ISBN 9780744519310
Yolen, Jane. HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOODNIGHT? ISBN 9780590316811
By Kimberly C. Kinnaird