Friday, 17 February 2012

Billy’s Boatshed : The Project

Billy’s Boatshed : The Project by Aimee Atkins, pictures by Franfou Studio (Random House)
PB RRP $12.95
ISBN 978-1-74275-313-3
Reviewed by Emma Cameron

Billy and Lilly live in Washaway Bay with their friends Pauly the Pelican, Sparky the speedboat, Bazza Barge and a sailboat with pink sails named MJ. The project tells how Billy plans to spend the day finishing building his boat. When Lilly walkie-talkies him to say she is having trouble counting all the fish in the reef, where she is standing knee deep in the water. For some reason, Billy thinks building a ‘glass bottom boat’ will make Lilly’s task easier.

Of course, drawing up plans for this distracts him from his original project. As does the ‘Honk Honk, Honk Honk!’ Billy hears from Bazza the Barge, who is struggling to raise his anchor. Billy dives under the water to untangle it, and gets the bright idea that he should make a submarine with big arms and a glass bottom as that would help Bazza untangle his anchor and help Lilly count fish.

When Billy begins building this, Sparky the speedboat yells for him to come and save his beach ball that landed on the sand while Sparky was playing with it. Sparky cannot travel across sand to save it and when Pauly flies over to return it Billy thinks of a great solution. He will put wheels on the submarine he is going to build, as that would mean it could go up to retrieve the ball in future.

But that must wait, as it is now tea time. While nothing has been built, the story ends with Billy looking into the sky before bed time and wondering if he should build a spaceship instead. Franfou Studio have used simple, bold colours to show what is happening just as it is told in the text. This story may appeal to children aged 3-4 years.

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