Billy & the Beast – Nadia Shireen
Group: Picture Books
Published: Jonathan Cape/ Puffin 2018
Key Words: Courage- Persuasion- Magical Creatures
Billy saves the day from that naughty monster who wants to eat everyone including Fat Cat. She was really clever and tricks the monster- it was a bit scary!!
Oh no you shall not eat the animals!! Behave Beast!! Hooray for Billy. (I think she sees Billy as a friend to the Princess in Black!)
This fabulous story is Shortlisted for Booktrust Storytime Prize And I can totally see why!
Twisting on Fairytale tropes fiesty Billy and her sidekick Fatcat face the Terrible Beast and Billy uses her smarts to trick beasty out of eating all the adorable woodland creatures.
With lots of repetition and onomatopoeia it’s the perfect story for young children at carpet/circle/storytime to repeat back and shout out bits such as hellos and where’s and onomatopoeic phases like We are going on a Bear Hunt before it changes into a series of Aesop’s Fable like tricks.
I love the clever little heroine Billy who isn’t afraid to stand up to the Beast but with class and intelligence rather than physical intervention. Billy is a playful and clever role model especially impacting for black girls to see a little girl who looks like them, and her sassy calm under stressful conditions and ability to talk her way out of a crisis is a role model for all young readers.
Overall, this is a cute twist on fairy tales with a confident, quick-thinking heroine of black heritage in a story which is fun, clever and thoroughly enjoyed by my two girls. We will be looking out for the next adventure Billy and the Dragon!!