Review of ‘Billie’s Super Dooper Adventures’
Anyone with young readers will be well and truly familiar with the ‘Billie B Brown’ and ‘Hey Jack’ series by Sally Rippin, they are something of a phenomenon and the perfect books to start a child off on their chapter book journey. Well Sally Rippin has now taken the fabulous characters of Billie and Jack down to a younger audience with the beautifully produced hardcover picture books, ‘Billie’s Super Dooper Adventures’, illustrated by Alisa Coburn and published by Hardie Grant Egmont. My first degree was in early childhood education and my early childhood roots are strong! I am constantly on the lookout for very high quality, engaging texts for our youngest readers, texts which will kickstart a life-long love affair with books and words. ‘Billie’s Super Dooper Adventures’ are spot on and I knew ChickPea’s passionate kindergarten teacher would also adore them and indeed she did – her review is below! Thank you Mrs Prowse (and thank you for caring for ChickPea – dinosaur that she is).
To add these books to your home, school or kindy library click on cover images or title links to purchase.
Finding one book, let alone a series of books, that captures the attention of very young children for group reading is unthinkable. Early childhood specialist understand the benefits of reading to young children in small groups based upon different children’s interests. I too follow that pedagogical framework until was introduced to the incredible ‘Billie’s Super Dooper Adventures’.
Billie captures the children from the first page, she invites them into the story. The children imagine that they are in the story because there are so many parallels between the real and the narrative. Billie is a temperamental Kindergarten child, one who isn’t always happy when she arrives into the Kindy room, she doesn’t use her manners all the time with her teacher or the other children and she doesn’t always get her own way. Her expressions are real and the language use to represent her moods is also age appropriate. The children can relate the story they are hearing and they are captured from the first page.
As a storyteller, reading these stories is a magical experience, this young audience raises their eyes with the expression as I raise my voice, they can be seen to lean forward slightly as Billie and her friend Jack enter magic caves, a few cranky faces can also be spotted when Billie flops down in a sulk on a pillow and one or two shudder as Jack asks to turn back in fright in the long dark cave only to be pulled along by the brave Billie.
These stories are longer than some traditional early childhood picture books and still these are the stories that are requested over and over again. It is exciting to hear and see these 3 and 4 year old children retell these stories and parts of Billies Super Dooper Adventures in their own dramatic play and drawings. Our only collective criticism is that we desperately require more adventures please, send directly to, St Aidan’s Kindergarten, we love them!
The latest in the series is ‘Billie’s Wild Jungle Adventure’, to be followed by ‘Billie’s Yummy Bakery Adventures’ – looking forward to that one!