Simone Lia studied art at the University of Brighton and has an MA in illustration from the Royal College of Art. Simone's previous titles include 'Pen Pal From Outer Space', 'Red's Great Chase' and the 'Allie' series by Helen Dunmore (all published by Egmont). Simone lives in Southe East London.
PreS-Gr 3-Another wacky and kid-friendly tale from Lia. "Billy Bean had a dream. His dream was to build a rocket and blast himself into space." This is a pretty ambitious goal for a little blue jelly bean. However, Billy is no ordinary jelly bean. Not only does he have the creativity, the daring, and the plans for such a project, but he also has the help he needs. It all begins when his paper airplane bumps into the head of a friendly yellow jelly bean. Soon, jelly bean friends, cousins, and pets, each providing "useful things," are all working cooperatively to see Billy's dream come true. Different groups of workers saw wood and hammer nails, try out the rocket seats, make sandwiches, and plan the fantastic journey. The rocket is finally ready for liftoff after a brief squabble about what color it should be. Although Billy is left behind when he volunteers to cut the elastic that will launch the vehicle into space, he is pleased to be reunited with his pencil and paper: he has another dream. Although the premise is a bit bizarre, the story is well paced and has just enough dialogue. Fun elements like the countdown to blastoff make this a sure hit for a silly read-aloud. The illustrations are simple, yet bold and colorful, and the text is large and easy to read.-Piper L. Nyman, Fairfield/Suisun Community Library, Fairfield, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
'This is one of the most original picture books I have ever seen ... Simple but effective language links perfectly with the strong illustrations which shine out from each page. The book shows the power of the imagination and the importance of being active and creative.' BOOKS FOR KEEPS
Awash in retro colors, British author/artist Lia's spare, childlike art propels the motion of this snappy paper-over-board volume, in which a jelly bean named Billy has a dream: "to build a rocket and blast himself into space." A succession of multihued jelly beans appear on the scene carrying a variety of materials with which to help Billy. As the clever candy characters fashion a rocket ship out of some kid-ticklingly bizarre items (a wooden wardrobe, a pair of skis, a pink bathtub), young readers get a minilesson on counting and colors, as "4 green jellybeans sawed wood and hammered nails. 3 red jellybeans made sandwiches. 2 yellow jellybeans planned the journey," etc. In an initially disappointing turn of events, Billy is inadvertently left behind: "He watched his dream machine fly far away." Yet this optimist bounces back quickly, setting out to tackle his "new dream": building a telescope with which he watches passing rockets fly by. A pleasant flight of fancy. Ages 3-7. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.