SUMMARY: This is a memoir of the author William Joyce. When he was young, he liked to do off the wall and creative things. He very often went against the grain and did the unexpected. One day, a writing contest is announced. Billy is very excited because this is his arena and he knows he can win. He works hard on his story, but doesn't win, at least not in the expected way. His "win" inspires him to further creative adventures.
ILLUSTRATIONS: The illustrations were created in multimedia. They are full of rich detail and color and quite gorgeous.
THE GOOD: This was a very inspirational book. Billy was not the usual run of the mill kid. He walked to his own tune and used creativity in everything he did. And even though he did not win the reading contest with a ribbon, his story had the highest interest among his peers. They loved his creativity. And who wouldn't want to keep writing stories when you know people like your stuff? In the middle of this book is Billy's book done on a matte construction type paper. This makes you feel like you are reading a separate book. You get the feel of reading what he wrote all those years ago.
THE NOT AS GOOD: Billy was very messy, so his story is a serious challenge to read.
AGE RECOMMENDATION: Advertized for ages 4-8, but I think grades 1-4 would get the most out of it.
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