It’s a briefer than usual Peapod’s Picks this week as I try to fathom a new routine around work.
And this is really more of a Mum Picks. But Peapod did enjoy it too when we read it at bedtime last night, so I’ll take that!
But before we get to that, let’s go back to last year and this absolute gem:
Billy and the Beast by Nadia Shireen
I thought I’d reviewed this at the time, but it’s either vanished, my search bar is failing me or somehow I never did. But we loved this book and have since given it to every child we know as their birthdays or Christmas rolled around.
Billy and Fat Cat set off on a walk through the wood only to find their friends are missing. They son discover a terrible beast is planning to eat them up, and must find a way to save them!
Billy is an absolutely brilliant character, not to mention a clever, brave, takes-no-bullshit, BAME girl. Her Mary Poppins bag of a hair do is genius, there’s nothing she can’t did out of it when needed – donuts for Fat Cat (her permanently hungry, grumpy but loveable sidekick), or pine cones, crayons, feather dusters and masks for saving the day with.
The tone of the text and expressive illustrations are wonderful, and mean you will enjoy this as much as kids do, even on the twenty billionth read. The imagination behind Billy’s plans is fab and Fat Cat is just ace.
Fast forward to yesterday again and behold…
Billy and the Dragon by Nadia Shireen
This appeared on my shelving trolley at work yesterday to my delight! Needless to say, I snapped it up before it came close to a shelf (but only after reading it, chuckling to myself first!)
This has all the daring, deadpan drama and humour of the first, but this time with added dragon and dressing ups – yessss!
With echoes of ‘Where’s My Teddy?’, Fat Cat, while (begrudgingly) dressed as a dragon is snatched from the fancy dress party (I love, love, LOVED that Billy was a Knight – genius on do many levels!) by a real dragon so Billy and her (rather less willing) friends set out to save him…only to find its all just a bit of a mix up. Phew!
Fat Cat is grumpier than ever, Billy is braver and smarter than ever (and has her trusty stash of useful stuff on hand in her hair again of course!) and their woodland mates are back too – hurrah!
Just as fantastic as the first book, I cannot wait for our Billy and the Dragon fancy dress storytime in work over the summer now!