The Adventures of Billy Bog Brush!: The Fire Brigade by Ian Campbell and Tim Constable
|The Adventures of Billy Bog Brush!: The Fire Brigade by Ian Campbell and Tim Constable|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: A fun and slightly surreal adventure with plenty of room for imaginative story play afterwards.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 21||Date: October 2017|
|External links: Author's website|
Billy Bog Brush's family have gone out for the day, leaving him staring out of the window at the lovely weather outside and wondering what he could do to pass the time. Suddenly, he hears a desperate cry for help. Mrs Brown's house is on fire, the key is inside, and her little boy Tommy is locked in. Tommy is in terrible danger and what if the fire brigade doesn't arrive in time?
Billy springs into action. He might be small in size but he is big in heart and courage, and he isn't stupid either. He can fit through the cat flap to get into Mrs Brown's house but how will he reach the key, which hangs high up on the wall? With some logical thinking and a helpfully-placed bannister, Billy retrieves the key and Mrs Brown is able to unlock the door just as the fire brigade arrives. As a reward for his quick thinking, the firefighters give Billy a ride on the fire engine.
Billy Bog Brush is such a positive story. Billy, despite his small size, is still able to perform a big act of heroism. And he gets plenty of equally positive reinforcement for his efforts from Tommy, Mrs Brown, the firefighters and his neighbours and friends. It's a message to children that being kind to others will reap rewards and make you feel good about yourself to boot. And it also encourages logical, step-by-step thinking to solve problems.
I loved the character of Billy depicted as a lowly toilet brush. Campbell and Constable use this to show that even the most ordinary of people can do extraordinary things, but I think it also makes for a great springboard for further imaginative conversations between parent and child once they have finished reading (and drawing, but I'll get to that in a moment). Perhaps you could assemble a few household objects and enact some stories yourself? Perhaps you could imagine yourself as a potato masher and write a story in which you and your child save the day? Good sharing stories should act as stepping stones for imaginative play, don't you think?
There are several blank pages at the end of the book and for each, Campbell and Constable have suggested pictures to draw relating to the story - Billy, a fire engine, a house, and even the cat which the child may have missed when reading the story for the first time. In a story that hinges on a cat flap, you shouldn't miss the cat to whom it belongs, after all! Again, this is another positive, encouraging addition to the book.
I enjoyed Billy Bog Brush. It is funny and whimsical and slightly surreal and it offers positive messaging for children about helping others and solving problems. It is imaginative in and of itself and it also encourages imagination in its readers.
A lovely contribution to the world of books for sharing.
If the whimsical positivity in Billy Bog Brush appeals to your child, they might also enjoy [[Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog by Mini Grey ]], in which Traction Man's best buddy and sidekick is the trusty Scrubbing Brush.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Adventures of Billy Bog Brush!: The Fire Brigade by Ian Campbell and Tim Constable at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Adventures of Billy Bog Brush!: The Fire Brigade by Ian Campbell and Tim Constable at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.