Monday 13 February 2012

Billy’s Boatshed : MJ Saves the Day

Billy’s Boatshed : MJ Saves the Day by Aimee Atkins, pictures by Franfou Studio (Random House)
PB RRP $12.95
ISBN 978-1-74275-314-0
Reviewed by Emma Cameron

This story opens with Billy and Lilly packing their things to go and watch baby sea turtles hatching on the sand. While they do this, MJ the sailboat watches Sparky the speedboat speeding around the bay. When he asks if she can go as fast as him she says, ‘No Sparky, without an engine, I can’t go that fast.’ She sails away and Sparky takes Billy and Lilly to Barnacle Bay.

Once Sparky has dropped Billy and Lilly off he goes and amuses himself by speeding continuously from one side of Coral Reef to the other. Back at Barnacle Bay, Lilly takes photos of the hatchlings. ‘Billy, Lilly and Pauly were so happy they’d seen the turtles hatching, as it only happened once a year.’ They send Pauly the Pelican to tell Sparky they are ready to set home.

Sparky sets off to pick them up, only to discover he can’t go all that fast anymore. He’s used up all his fuel by zipping around having fun. Coincidentally, MJ happens to be sailing past and offers to tow Sparky back to pick up Billy and Lilly and take them home. Sparky suggests that next time they go to Barnacle Bay they should take MJ with them and the story ends, saying that ‘ MJ was the happiest little dingy in the world!’

Franfou Studio have used simple, bold colours to show what is happening just as it is told in the text. MJ has the brightest pink sails ever and, in contrast to Lilly’s black hair and green eyes, Billy has the reddest hair and very blue eyes. This story may appeal to children aged 3-4 years.

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