Sunday, 13 November 2011

Whatever by William Bee

Finally for this weekend, tonight in bed C requested to read Whatever by William Bee. I think that, as a child, this book would have terrified me, but my kids seem to love it! Perhaps because they know what wonderfully well-mannered children they are...

It's a cautionary tale, in the mould of Hillaire Belloc, but much more sparing with the words. Billy is a very spoilt child who is shown a series of wonderful things, such as the world's curliest trumpet, and the steamiest train. Billy's only response to all of these things is "whatever". In the end Billy's Dad shows him the world's hungriest tiger. After the tiger eats him, he shouts to his Dad that he is still there in the tiger. Dad's reponse as he walks away? "Whatever".

This book is wonderfully illustrated - they are bright and simple pictures, which remind me a little of the iconic Mr Benn.


  1. This sounds like a great book! It reminds me a bit of "Albert and the Lion" poem my parents used to read us. Or perhaps, on the more sinister side, "The Gashlycrumb Tinies". I'm not sure how old children would need to be before the latter is suitable though!

  2. Roald Dahl always managed to be scaringly sinister and appealing to children. I believe they love being a little bit scared now and then by a book followed by a warm cuddle.