Willie and Uncle Bill
by Amy Schwartz (Holiday House)
Three stories about a boy and an uncle it would be hard not to love are charmingly told, in a style that makes this both a fun read-aloud and a good choice for new readers. This first story is about a hair disaster and the typically imperfect solution. by the second tale, we’re sure of the bond between the uncle and nephew, so are glad when the mother leaves them on the story’s first page, and we follow them meeting a variety of people and animals in the city neighborhood. The third is the liveliest of all: after playing with toy trains and rockets, and reading a few books, Uncle Bill helps Willie on with his sweatshirt, takes him through the subway, and introduces him to a garage band, where Willie gets to sing, shout, stomp, do splits, and play guitar. There’s a homey, happy feel to the bright illustrations, showing a family that is both timeless and unique.