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Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  539 ratings  ·  120 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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2010 Caldecott Hopefuls
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 843)
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GoldGato

"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
...more
Lisa Vegan
Nov 04, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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Annette
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
Kathryn
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! ;-)
Rachael
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!
Benji Martin
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.
Ellen
Jul 01, 2009 Ellen rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...
Relyn
Feb 01, 2014 Relyn rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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Debbie
Prudence Wants a Pet started a discussion of "interesting" children's book about pets, including Cecil the Pet Glacier, and this one.
Carol Ekster
While the book is imaginative and fun, and I love the comparing of ordinary items to the size of the whale, I believe it is important to have a theme or emotional plot in a story. And Billy gets this whale because his mom threatens him with it when he disobeys. So what's the message? I wouldn't share this with a child because of the lack of clarity and what it might teach. He was fine dealing with his consequence. He moved into the whale...which is much bigger and so you don't see the mess in hi ...more
Erica - Bonner Springs Library
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
Erica
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
Kelly
“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
Kim Struyk
Barnett, M. (2009). Billy twitters and his blue whale problem. New York: Hyperion Books.

no journal necessary

choice book

I love this book because it is creative, funny, and unique. Not only does it have a massage that many adolescents can relate to, but it also “sneaks” in tons of factual information about Blue Whales! the illustrations are humorous, and I think tons of young students can relate to the message.

I can't wait for the author to write more so i can learn about other topics in a fun
...more
Kaethe
Well, it's illustrated by Adam Rex, so we pretty much feel a sense of ownership, and of course we loved it. A very funny picture book with fabulous illustrations. How funny is it? The endpapers are funny, the dedications are funny, the idea of flossing a baleen is funny. The back cover shows a string of cats following the whale. Adults and older kids will enjoy it as much as younger kids.
Christine Turner
Subject:
Blue whale -- Juvenile fiction.
Whales -- Juvenile fiction.
Schools -- Juvenile fiction
Humorous stories


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.
Ms Threlkeld
A very quirky book about a boy whose parents punish him by saddling him with a blue whale. Kids will either be tickled or confused by the odd situation. The illustrations suck the reader in with their expressiveness and could be used to talk to students about making inferences.
Shelli
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
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Heidi
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
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Suzanne
Lots of fun and, incidentally, educational. Billy is given a blue whale as a punishment and he has to take care of it throughout the day, often a greater challenge than you'd imagine since he lives in hilly San Francisco.
babyhippoface
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
...more
S
I really like Mac Barnett's humor and sense of "quirkiness". This book will be fun to share with students-especially with the nifty endpapers and the difference in the book's jacket and cover.
Kristine
Gorgeous illustrations and a fun story.
Mac Barnett's Ted Talk makes this book even better.
http://www.ted.com/talks/mac_barnett_...
Rebecca Ann
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
Dolly
Oct 06, 2012 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Robin
Obtuse tale of a boy being punished by caring for a blue whale as a pet. Quirky humor and great illustrations.
Jim
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.
...more
Tessa
May 27, 2010 Tessa rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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Mrs. Knott
This one makes you laugh out loud! What a perfect combo - Mac Barnett and Adam Rex!
jesse
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...
Extra Yarn Sam and Dave Dig a Hole Chloe and the Lion Count the Monkeys The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity (Brixton Brothers, #1)

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