Tell Me the Day Backwards
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Tell Me the Day Backwards

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  297 ratings  ·  82 reviews
In this delightful bedtime story, a young bear tells his mama all about his exciting day — in reverse — inspiring little listeners to do the same.

Just before going to bed, Timmy Bear and his mama play a game they call Tell Me the Day Backwards. Timmy tries to remember everything that happened to him that day in reverse, from watching the sunset on the hill to the picnic su...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Candlewick Press
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Timmy Bear and Mama play a game before he goes to sleep. They tell each other their day backwards. The story they tell one another is filled with special moments together like watching the sunset and having a picnic. Then there are moments of fear, and told backwards they make it even more of an event. The story builds nicely as readers discover exactly what led to Timmy Bear jumping from a high rock into the river. The story ends as it began, with Timmy Bear in bed and Mama at his side, creatin...more
Jun 10, 2011 Candice rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sophie
Shelves: picture-books
A sweet bedtime story with lovely, softly colored illustrations. I remember when Ellen was little, we would read bedtime stories and then talk about her day, although we never did it backwards. This might inspire a tradition in some families. Timmy Bear is getting ready for bed and he tells his mother, "Let's play Tell Me the Day Backwards." His mother encourages him to start, and he begins by telling of brushing his teeth in the stream. Then Mama Bear responds, "That was after we watched the su...more
It might be fun for an older crowd to read Goldilocks, then read this book, and then tell the kids they need to help you tell Goldilocks backwards. You could have flannel pieces as prompts... Or you could read this with The End by LaRochelle.
Ally Copper
I am a huge fan of any children's book that accomplishes several educational goals within one story. 'Tell Me the Day Backwards' by Albert Lamb gets so many things right within a short, adorable story featuring Timmy Bear and Mama Bear and their nighttime ritual of going over the events of the previous day. Instead of beginning with the morning and talking about everything that happened that day, they start with bedtime and think about all the things they did that day in reverse. This story woul...more
Tell Me the Day Backwards by Albert Lamb, illustrated by David McPhail, is a bedtime story in which a young bear tells his mama all about his exciting day — in reverse.

Timmy Bear tells the day's events backward, with prompting and help from his mother. Timmy's day included brushing his teeth, watcing the sunset, a picnic, sunning on a rock, being rescued by Papa Bear, seeing a scary fish face underwater, diving into the deep pool, being chased by bees, eating the bees' honey, discovering a beehi...more
I'm a little conflicted about this one because I think it's a charming story that parents and children will love. I also think it would be a fantastic storytime book, and I'm keeping it in mind for future reference. But on a personal level, it kind of fell flat for me. I tend to gravitate towards picture books that have a little more "oomph"--ones that have a bit of action, or are really funny, or something I haven't seen before. I read a lot of books, so I like things that stick out. While the...more
Eva Leger
4.5 - Tell Me the Day Backwards is different than anything we've read before. I'm sure there are others out there like it, maybe even done as well, but this is the first we've experienced and Julia and I both adored it.
It's a very simple story, a Mother Bear asks her Little Bear about the day and they go through the day backwards. It's easily seen how one thing led to another much of the time and it's super cute.
The illustrations are soft too, just like the story, which works so well here. This...more
Rima Aroutiounian
"Tell me the day Backwards" is a great book to help with narrative skills. Mama bear asks the baby bear to remember what he did during the whole day and tell it backwards. This might help to remember things in sequential order. Fun story to read to children.
This is a good book for encouraging narrative skills in children. It is much harder to repeat a story backwards than it is to do it forwards! This is a good book for ECE level readers because the text is large and the story has some repetition in it.
Sep 15, 2011 Tam rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: bedtime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mama Bear is tucking Timmy Bear into bed when he asks her to play a game with him. He tells her he wants to play the game they played last summer, Tell me the day backwards. Mama Bear agrees to the game that starts by telling the thing you did right before you got into bed and goes backwards through the rest of the day. It's a sweet story about a unique game between Mama Bear and Timmy Bear.
This book is great for kids practicing reading. The simple language makes it good for 1st or 2nd graders....more
I heard about this book from another librarian and was not initially attracted to the concept -- a young bear, going to bed, asks to "play Tell Me the Day Backwards." But the story is more interesting than a simple sequencing story. The young bear recounts his adventures from the day, some of which are more bear-like than others. The story ends by revealing that this was the first day that the young bear after the winter's hibernation. This will make a wonderful fall/spring read aloud for young...more
A delightful pairing of the right author with the right illustrator. In this book a little bear asks his mother to play a game with him where they tell the story of the day backwards. She agrees and they recount everything from his rescue in the river to how he got there in the first place. By the time the two have gotten to the beginning of the day it becomes clear that they've only recently awaken from hibernation and tomorrow they'll have more fun too. Told with just the write meaning and lov...more
I wanted to like this book just based upon the adorable cover. I mean, it's so sweet...momma bear gazing down at baby bear in his bed. Awww. The premise of the book is just as the title hints...the bear is told his day backwards for his bedtime story. I found it clumsy...and wonder if there wouldn't have been a forwards day first, then the backwards day if it may have translated better. My kids enjoyed it and I would think that if you are a reader are "feeling" it, others could pull it off for s...more
Courtney Angelo
I enjoyed this book! It reminds me of a sweet book to read to a child before bedtime, helping them to reflect on their day. The book is unique in itself because it is written in opposite order of a normal day, but this creates a new opportunity for children because it is always encouraged to look at things chronologically. It is also relatable for children because little bear explains such simple things in his day like brushing his teeth and eating lunch. This is a great book to bring into the c...more
Love this! A mama and son bear get cozy at bedtime, recounting the events of the day backwards, from brushing teeth before bed, and before that watching the sunset, and before that....

What a great retelling strategy to practice with little ones. We could do it after a field trip or other eventful day. We could list the events, draw a picture to go with, cut the list up and reorganize the list chronologically...

Older ones can compare it to "The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash" by Trinka Hakes Noble...more
Sarah Sammis
Tell Me the Day Backwards by Albert Lamb is is about a young bear cub getting ready for bed. He and his mother decide to play a game, the telling the day backwards game.

Page by page the bear with help from mama goes through what he did from taking his bath, back through dinner, to a mishap with a fish and some bees and so forth.

As we had recently enjoyed a backwards chapter in the Wayside School Collection audio book, this picture book had a certain appeal. It lived up to expectations and includ...more
Mrs. Knott
Timmy the Bear is getting ready for bedtime, and in order to prolong the inevitable, as all children do, he has invented a game about retelling the day, but it goes in backwards order.
This picture book will delight young readers, I would suggest preschool - 1st grade. The illustrations were beautiful. Great bedtime story.
Teachers of early grades - this would be a fun writing activity.... can a student retell the day backwards, or retell an event backwards....
Little Miss and the Legomeister
Little Miss said, "I like when they play the remembering game. I like when they remember things. I love when he went to bed, also I love when he was chased by bees and jumped into the pool, he saw a fox and when he got out and got tucked in and played the remembering game. I love the whole story."

Sweet illustrations and a lively story. I love the idea of playing a game that helps your little one review the day.
A. Somers
This was an adorable picture book, with charming pictures. The idea of telling a story backwards is delightful. This would be a great mentor text to use for student writing. Could they tell the events of their day backwards? It could also be used to introduce the concepts of sequence or time lines. While it has many great classroom uses , it is sisimply a wonderful read aloud for our youngest students.
This book has the nice twist of telling an exciting story backwards. I like the fact that the beginning suitably became the climax of the story. I can see many applications for this at school: sequencing, predicting, cause and effect. A fun assignment to correlate with this would be to have students write about their day backwards. This would also be a great read aloud for parents and children at night.
Sarah Souther
At bedtime, a little bear and his mother go through their day, backwards of course. There are some surprises. For example, what happened before jumped in the pond was that he encountered a bunch of bees. They work their way back to the morning and then their last sleep, which was winter hibernation. This story's gentle tone and the soft illustrations make it a good wind-down bedtime read. Gr. PreK-2.
OCLS Staff Picks
As he gets into bed, Timmy Bear asks his mother to play a game with him in which they remember everything he did during the day, but in reverse order.

Dream Big (Summer Reading Program 2012) recommended book

Available from OCLS in print.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
For some reason I thought I had read this one months ago, but when I looked at it today I knew I hadn't. I would have not forgotten something as well written and executed as this book. Gentle illustrations and a wonderful story of looking back through the day. Would be great to use with children who need to learn how to recall pieces of their day.
This book was very adorable! I like how mother and child have a bedtime routine telling the day backwards! I think this is a good book not only because of the story line, but because of the pictures. The pictures are very soft and warm, I also like how this book could lead to mother and child starting to do this in real life together! Very cute!
Kind of "eh" for storytime and not bad for a lap-read. But this is excellent for 1) generally helping children try to remember things and 2) logically thinking out a storym, because the backwards causes them to think forwards and comprehend as a whole. Great for building literacy skills! I really like the pictures, too.
This is another of those sweet books with bears, this time a going-to-bed book where the mother bear do go backwards through the day until the little bear is asleep. Very nice to hear the story and to see McPhail’s drawings, lovely watercolor with a bit of ink outlining. It will be fun to see who can remember ‘backwards’.
Mar 28, 2011 Becky rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all ages
A sweet bedtime book that ties nicely into narrative skills and consequences (restating the events of the day backward -- when something bad happened, what happened right before to cause it? What would have been the better choice?).

I liked the large font and cozy, Ernest-Shepard-esque illustrations.
A baby bear is encouraged by his mother to remember what he did during the day backwards. Cute story, but I think the "And then what happened?" might get irritating to kids. I find this true with "The End" by LaRoche. Everytime I say "because" the kids groan. Could run into same problem here.
Lovely story of a mother bear helping her cub to remember his day backwards right up to the moment he woke up after a long winter's sleep. I love the idea of this bedtime ritual and McPhail's illustrations add just the right amount of coziness within the adventures of the day. I loved it!
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