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Billy’s Beetle is a charming short story about a little boy who loses his beetle. He goes in search of his tiny friend with a little help from different people along the way including the reader of the book. The story really highlights the importance of friendship and helping others and will illustrate to young children that anyone can help someone in need regardless of who they are.

Reader's Reviews


With its colourful watercolour illustrations, simple text and interactive nature this book is aimed at the children in the early years of primary school but with it’s humour and universal appeal it is as equally enjoyable for all ages. Ideal for a bedtime story or reading with an adult everyone is sure to enjoy this amusing story. Children will enjoy trying to find Billy’s beetle on each page and the detailed illustrations provide a canvas of discussion as there is always more of the story hidden in the pictures that is not mentioned in the text.

Repetition of words and sounds within the story will help children to learn to read particular words and recognise them at later stages of the book. Descriptive words used throughout the book to illustrate character sounds will engage children by encouraging them to take an enthusiastic, active part in the reading of the book. The repetition and addition of characters on each page provides further interest to the reader as there is always the suspense of what will happen next?

In the early years this book would be excellent to use as a book at story time encouraging interaction and keeping them engaged and also could be used as part of teaching phonics with its words that have strong sounds. It would also be an excellent topic book highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness.

I would recommend this book for use at home and in the classroom not only for the early years but also in the juniors. Mick Inkpen is a good example of an author and illustrator whose books have a strong interplay of word and text and is also excellent for studying the use of composition in illustration. The watercolour washes on white background make it very easy for children to see how words are positioned with text and how illustration and text can support each other. It is also easy for them to see how a good image is constructed with excellent use of composition and so would be a good tool in an art lesson.

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