By Mac Barnett, Illustrated by Adam Rex
Disney/Hyperion Books, 2009
Mom says…”Billy Twitters, clean up your room, or we’re buying you a blue whale…” But I’m not worried. See, I know a thing or two about blue whales. I mean, they’re the biggest animals in the world, ever. It’s not like you can just have one delivered to your house overnight.
Little does Billy know that a “FedUp” truck (Delivering Punishment Worldwide, it reads on the side) is pulling up in front of his house with an extremely large delivery. And so goes Billy’s hilarious foray into Learning to Be Responsible. Not only does he have to wash his whale, wax his whale, and check his whale for barnacles, but he has to take his whale to school, wrestle his whale, race his whale, and take his whale to the park. Whew. Adam Rex’s illustrations are unforgettable as usual (if you’ve never seen The Dirty Cowboy, get thee to a library), and the suspension of disbelief throughout the story is inspired. No one ever asks “why?” or “how?” It’s just understood: You get a blue whale, you drag it to school on your bike. Lovely.