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Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem
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Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  757 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews
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.
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by Hyperion Books
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Lisa Vegan
Jun 29, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: just about everybody with a sense of humor who can enjoy children’s picture books
Recommended to Lisa by: Chandra
This book is a total delight from beginning to end. And I do mean beginning (from the hilarious dedication) to the end (the author’s and illustrator’s biography sections on the back inside cover: the author is the founder of a convenience store for time travelers, seriously.)

I added this book to my san-francisco shelf because, even though in the book this could take place in any community close to the ocean, on the back cover is the Golden Gate Bridge in the background with the rear end of Billy
Dec 12, 2014 GoldGato rated it really liked it

"Billy Twitters, clean up your room, or we're buying you a blue whale."

You don't take responsibility for your actions? A blue whale will be delivered to your doorstep. You'll have to take that whale to school, you'll have to clean that whale, and you'll have to figure out how to move that whale around the neighborhood.

I think if my parents had ever told me I could have a blue whale, my chores would have definitely gone to the wayside. Of course, the warning here is being accountable for the larg
Jan 26, 2012 Annette rated it it was amazing
This book was so hilariously, ridiculous, I loved it. I laughed more than the boys did as I read it. Billy's mom decides that if he can't keep his room clean then his parents are going to buy him a blue whale. He has to take it to school and take care of it, but in the end he finds a solution to all his problems. We loved this book. Mac Bernett includes some facts about blue whales and some evolution to go along with that, but since it was a read-aloud I was able to remove the evolutionary comme ...more
Aug 24, 2009 Kathryn rated it really liked it
If my GoodReads friends hadn't given this such glowing reviews, I might have only given it three stars. I'll give it four, not due to peer pressure but because I think three is a bit unfair. You see, it's a very clever and funny book, I'm just not sure how much of an Adam Rex fan I am (sorry, Abigal, Chandra and Lisa!!!) Still, I think kids will love the over-the-top whale-tale and most will probably wish they could escape their problems in the way Billy eventually solves his! ;-)
May 23, 2009 Rachael rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
Mac Barnett did a great job with the story in this picture book - a blue whale would teach anyone the importance of responsibility, but let's be honest: it's Adam Rex that makes this book great. Whether it's his krill-of-the-month club endpapers or the sly humor of a girl her giant squid at the playground, Rex is what made me keep flipping back through this book again and again. And now I have my next tattoo picked out. Thank you, Adam Rex!
Oct 21, 2015 NiteReader rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-picture
My daughter and I loved every word. :)
Jul 01, 2009 Ellen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: librarians reading to 2nd graders
When Billy Twitters misbehaves, his mom threatens to send him a blue whale. Billy knows how big blue whales are, so he's not worried. But then a block long packing crate shows up the next morning...

Adam Rex's clever illustrations meld well the Mac Barnett's text and the solution to Billy's problem may not be what you'd think...
Benji Martin
Feb 17, 2015 Benji Martin rated it really liked it
This is a good book on it's own, especially for it being Mac's first book ever, but what really makes it, is the offer for the free blue whale on the back. When the kids write to the address, they get a letter informing them that unfortunately, their whale can't be delivered at the moment, but they get a phone number where they can call the whale and leave a message. It's great.
Adrienne Furness
"Frank always smells like corn chips, even when he hasn't been eating them."

I read this book when it first came out, but I'd forgotten how funny it is. Even the dedications are funny.
Jan 24, 2013 Debbie rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Prudence Wants a Pet started a discussion of "interesting" children's book about pets, including Cecil the Pet Glacier, and this one.
Rommel Sison
Jun 11, 2017 Rommel Sison rated it it was ok
6-year-old daughter: 4 stars
5-year-old daughter: 4 stars
Mar 23, 2017 Cosette rated it really liked it
An example of bad parenting... which makes me think of a story I could might need to be a series..
Sorry, Mac Barnett... I love you but this time I'm not on board. Although a few scientific facts about the blue whale, the story is so nonsensical as to almost be maddening, and it is possibly meant for an older age group disguised as a picture book. The resolution is also unsatisfying. And it's a LONG read.
Michelle McBeth
Jun 03, 2015 Michelle McBeth rated it really liked it
SUMMARY: Every time Billy does not obey his parents, they threaten to get him a blue whale as punishment. He doesn't believe them because he doesn't think it can happen. But one day it does. He has to take the blue whale everywhere with him which causes all sorts of problems because, well, the whale is gigantic. His teacher his thrilled to be able to teach about whales instead of cowboys. Billy's whale comes with all sorts of responsibilities. Billy decides to move his bedroom inside of the whal ...more
Nov 25, 2009 Kelly rated it it was amazing
“Billy Twitters, clean up your room or we’re getting you a blue whale.” When Billy’s mom makes good on her threat, he finds himself responsible for the feeding and care of one Balaenoptera musculus. Billy steps up to the task without complaint, pulling his whale to school up San Francisco’s famous hills on a skateboard, and then enduring what one might expect with such an unexpected burden – he gets uninvited from Alexis Winters-Pierce’s party, since his whale won’t fit in her pool; engages in a ...more
Kelly Sue
Barnett, Mac. Billy Twitters and his Blue Whale Problem. Illus. Adam Rex. New York: Hyperion Books, 2009. Print. – In this story, Billy Twitters is put in a bit of a predicament. Billy has not been very obedient to his mother when she tells him to do things like clean his room or eat his vegetables. Every time he doesn’t do as he’s told, his mother threatens that they will buy him a blue whale. Billy isn’t too worried, because it must be hard to get a blue whale to his house. His parents, on the ...more
Jan 12, 2010 Erica rated it it was amazing
Billy won't clean his room. His parents threaten to get him a blue whale if he doesn't clean his room. One day the FedUp truck (according to the side of the truck delivers punishment worldwide) delivers a blue whale to Billy's house. His parents obviously weren't kidding. So Billy has to take the blue whale to school with him, putting the blue whale on a skateboard and pulling it with his bike. The whale causes some big problems for Billy at school. After school when the bus breaks down, Billy g ...more
Sep 29, 2011 Matthew rated it it was amazing
My mother never said this to me, thank goodness, but Billy Twitter's mother threatened to buy him a blue whale every time he didn't do something he was supposed to like eating his peas, brushing his teeth, or cleaning his room. At some point though, the threat stopped being idle and the whale arrived via FedUp Delivery Service. This book is as strange as they come and it's funny for that reason. This is absurdist humor at its finest. He takes the whale to school, goes through all the daily trial ...more
Sep 09, 2010 babyhippoface rated it really liked it
Billy Twitters' parents are always tell him to shape up, or else "we'll buy you a blue whale!" Odd, my parents never threatened me with a blue whale. Anyway...these parents keep their promises, and soon, Billy wakes to find a blue whale blocking his doorway. What now?

The ending's a little weird (well, okay, the whole book is weird, but what would one expect from Mac Barnett & Adam Rex?), but some of the stuff in this picture book is hilarious. (I love the two boys at school who give Billy a
Oct 08, 2010 Shelli rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Billy Twitter’s is a bit of a slob; cleaning his room and doing his chores are just not a priority. His parent’s threaten to “buy him a blue whale” if he doesn’t change his ways. How this is supposed to help I’m not sure except for adding to the books hilarity and absurdity, which I am fine with. One day the Fed-Up truck shows up delivering Billy’s punishment: a blue whale. Will lugging a blue whale around all day and caring for this massive mammal really teach Billy responsibility???

I loved Ma
Feb 01, 2014 Relyn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: whimsical teachers and parents and every single kid
Recommended to Relyn by: Pinterest
Shelves: lawsonland
If you are a teacher who wants to get your students to read every part of the book - even the author's note - this book is for you. Just look at the end papers.

If you are a parent who has a crazy, kooky, dreamy kid (and who doesn't?), this book will make you a hero at read aloud time.

If you are a parent who has a child who likes to laugh, this book will have you all in stitches.

If you are a tired, slightly grumpy adult who needs a minute to remember the fun of childhood, this book fits the bi
I guess I had only skimmed this book a few months back, but forgot to read it all. It's even funnier than I thought it would be at first glance. The ending is OK. I had hoped for something better. But otherwise, an odd book with some interesting facts and a funny impossibilities. Perfect for school-age storytime.

7/22/10 The kids liked the book for the most part. I don't think they were thrilled with the ending, but they enjoyed seeing Billy's adventures with his whale. And as the "theme" was Sil
This was a fun book that I shared with my students. The vibrant illustrations helped tell the story of a young boy who is punished with a blue whale that he has to care for and take everywhere with him. The students were excited to imagine just what it would be like to try to deal with all of the problems an animal this size could cause. A fellow teacher recommended it to me, since my students had recently enjoyed Giraffes Ruin Everything by Heidi Schulz and If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligato ...more
Rebecca Ann
Jul 15, 2012 Rebecca Ann rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I LOVE the ilustrations in this book. They are full page, full color, and 3-d looking; done by the the same illustrator as Pssst!. The story itself is logic defying, but that's part of the fun. A boy who doesn't eat his peas or do his chores gets a blue whale to take care of as punishment. The whale causes him all sorts of problems. In the end he decides to hide from his responsibility inside the whale. I didn't really like the message the ending sends, but other than that it was great! Too long ...more
Dec 07, 2013 Jim rated it liked it
Our family fell in love with the Barnett/Rex partnership with Chloe and the Lion and Guess Again! . When I told my 6-year-old son who wrote and illustrated this book, he said excitedly, "They get the best books!"

His opinion on this one: "Good. But it was kinda weird."

While this one was enjoyable, it wasn't quite as good as the other ones we've read.
Dov Zeller
May 10, 2015 Dov Zeller rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book, kids
I like Mac Barnett and Adam Rex as a pair. I don't love them, but I appreciate their playfulness. I think this book was more of a 3 for me, but after reading the kirkus review I was persuaded toward 4. There's a lot of great silliness in it, and some nice, educational stuff about whales, and it's good to see such a giant, absurdist address of family dynamics and social struggles kids often must navigate, not as a way to make light of them at all, but as a ...more
May 27, 2010 P. rated it really liked it
Shelves: jfic
Don't forget to clean your room or you may end up like Billy Twitters. Now his blue whale is all his responsibility and he must wash it, wax it, check it for barnacles, wrestle it, race it, take it to the park, feed it, and brush its teeth. And take it wherever he goes.

The writing is funny and the illustrations are fantastic. Adam Rex makes the whale always look as though it is simply enduring all of this, and Billy Twitters has a great face for being perturbed. Whenever the parents speak, thei
Oct 06, 2012 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We love Adam Rex's books and when we saw this collaborative effort with Mac Barnett, we just had to borrow this book from our local library.

The story is strange, completely nonsensical, and silly. But with the amazing illustrations, the story comes alive and almost seems real. The narrative is filled with entertaining dialogue, and we love that there are entire pages without words. Overall, it's a fun story to read aloud and we really enjoyed reading it together
Billy’s mom always says things like, “clean up your room or we’re buying you a blue whale,” or “brush your teeth or we’re buying you a blue whale,” or “finish your peas or we’re buying you a blue whale.” But Billy’s not worried. Blue whales are the biggest animal in the world, it’s not like you can just have one delivered to your house overnight. But the next morning, Billy tries to leave for school and runs smack into a blue whale when he opens the door. She finally did it. She got Billy a blue ...more
Jan 15, 2010 jesse rated it it was amazing
Think you have problems? Meet Billy Twitters. He's got a problem, all right... a rather large problem he just can't seem to figure out. This book is for any of you who didn't want to do what Mom or Dad told you. What if our mothers or fathers made good on those promises--or threats--we thought were so impossible or even outlandish? Perhaps we'd learn a valuable lesson yet. Adam Rex's vivid and silly illustrations will have you and your adults submerged in Mac Barnett's funny whale's tale. P.S. D ...more
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Born to non-farmers in a California farming community, Mac now lives near San Francisco. He's on the board of directors of 826LA, a nonprofit writing center for students in Los Angeles, and he founded the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, a convenience store for time travelers.
More about Mac Barnett...

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