Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Billy’s Booger: A memoir (sorta)

Billy’s Booger: A memoir (sorta)

William Joyce
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2015   ISBN: 978-1442473515

Billy is in the fourth grade. At this time in America’s history there are only four channels on the black and white TVs that people watch, and many children spend their Sunday mornings reading the colored pages of the “funny papers.”  Billy loves cartoons and comic books and he loves to draw. In fact he likes to use his drawing skills to liven up his math, which his teacher does not, for some strange reason, seem to appreciate.

   Actually, Billy does not like to do anything in a “regular” way. He likes to be creative no matter what he is doing. For example, when he plays sports he likes to up the ante a little and make it more challenging by combining several sports to make things more interesting. Sometimes Billy’s teachers send home notes complaining about Billy’s “odd” behavior, but his parents don’t really worry too much. They know all too well how unique their son is.

   Then one day the school librarian announces that there is going to be a contest to see which child can “make the best kids’ book.” Billy is thrilled and he gets to work, reading all kinds of books about a wide variety of subjects. Then he starts to write his book, which is called “Billy’s Booger: The memoir of a little green nose buddy.” Billy is sure that his book is going to win the contest. Principal Blisterbaum is going to judge the books and he is a fair and patient man. Billy is therefore very shocked when he does not win the contest. In fact, his book does not get any attention from anyone at all. Billy is crushed.

    This is the true story of how William Joyce, Billy, wrote his first book when he was in the fourth grade. Young readers who have strong creative spirits will be able to relate to Billy completely and to commiserate when his work is not appreciated by the adults in his life. They will also be delighted when they see how Billy’s story turns out.

   Included in the book is a copy of Billy’s contest entry. Children who have a fondness for mucus, space travel, and high adventure will surely appreciate reading Billy’s first story.