Billy Brown and the Belly Button Beastieby Baird Hoffmire, Sherry Norfolk, Bobby Norfolk
Every night when Billy Brown's mother puts him to bed, she tells him to keep his covers on his bed but he ignores her advice, then the belly button monster steals his belly button and the fun begins.
PreS-Gr 1- Every night, Billy tosses and turns in bed and kicks off the covers. His mama warns him that "the Belly Button Beastie is going to come and take your belly button right...out...of your...BELLY." Although the child is not afraid, young readers/listeners may find this prospect alarming. Furthermore, when the Beastie does appear, it is indeed quite beastly, portrayed in garish green and blue with a gaping mouth. The next morning, Billy drinks milk and the liquid gushes out of the hole in his abdomen. In the bathtub, soapy water pours in and soap bubbles float out. School friends plug the hole with bubblegum, string, tape, etc., but nothing works until someone suggests trying chocolate (the same brown color as Billy). That night, he tricks the monster into trading his belly button for the good-smelling chocolate substitute. After the boy searches through the Beastie's bag full of belly buttons to find his own, the switch is made. From then on, the creature pursues candy instead of belly buttons. The simple cartoon illustrations include several images that are disturbing and somewhat bizarre. Judy Sierra's Tasty Baby Belly Buttons (Knopf, 1999) and Olga Loya's "The Belly Button Monster," from More Ready-to-Tell Tales from Around the World (August House, 2000), are better versions of this story.-Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Meet the Author
Bobby Norfolk Bio:From Kindergarten to the Tenth Grade, Bobby Norfolk stuttered. He was so self-conscious about his impediment that he retreated into books. Luckily, he had some master teachers in the St. Louis Public Schools who saw a potential in him that he had yet to see in himself. They put him in drama class, glee club - even a talent show judged by country music legend, Mel Tillis. Fortunately, when Bobby performed, he discovered that he didn’t stutter!
In books, young Norfolk found his troubles fused with those of heroes whose epic struggles captured his imagination. Eventually, the stutter disappeared. As a young adult, Bobby Norfolk became an actor and stand-up comedian. He became an opening act for the likes of B.B. King and Lou Rawls. Norfolk's day job as a National Park Service ranger at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri also gave him experience relating to a variety of audiences.
Bobby Norfolk is one of the most sought-after African-American storytellers in the country. He and his wife, Sherry, have authored five classic Anansi tales that are included in the Story Cove picture book series. When they aren’t traveling or performing at schools and festivals, they live in St. Louis, Missouri.
Sherry Norfolk Bio:
Sherry Norfolk embodies the term "teaching artist" - that is, an artist who not only talks the talk, she also walks the walk. She invites readers of all ages to peer through the kaleidoscope of story into the world of the imagination.
Her library background led her to writing and performing stories as an effective means of motivating children to read, and her elementary education background influenced her style - full of rhythm and motion, and multiple voices. As a teacher, she leads residencies and workshops internationally, introducing children and adults to story making and storytelling. She serves on the roster of seven state arts councils, a testimony to her value as a teaching artist. Her dedication to and deep interest in children and literacy have been recognized with national awards from the American Library Association, the Association for Library Association for Children, the National Association of Counties, and the Florida Library Association.
Sherry has a B.S. in Elementary Education and a Masters in Library Science. She retells folktales from around the world, using these stories to teach universal values, elevate understanding, appreciate other cultures, and promote environmental awareness.
Baird Hoffmire Bio:
Baird Hoffmire is an animator, illustrator, graphic designer and exhibiting artist. He resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his beautiful wife, Jane and his equally lovely daughters, Sadie and Harper. With a BFA in Illustration from Western Carolina University and a BFA in Media Arts and Animation from the Art Institute of Atlanta, Baird has been working as a professional artist for over ten years. His illustrations in Story Cove picture books and animated stories have been enjoyed by tens of thousands of children around the world. Besides painting, illustrating books and spending time with his family, Baird loves to play basketball.
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My son's preschool teacher read this to the class. My son was HORRIFIED! The teacher had to call me at work to explain the situation. He wouldn't take a nap and didn't go to bed until 11:30 that night. This is not appropriate for a 4 year old 'which is the 'target' age group'. Might as well tell the kids that they will be sucked down the bathtub drain while you are at it.