Review Blog

Nov 22 2013

The pocket money blues by Sally Rippin

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Billie B Brown series. Hardie Grant Egmont, 2013. ISBN 9781742971421.
(Age: 5+) Recommended. Humour, Family relationships. With twenty of these little books now published, with over a million of them being sold, the stories of Billie are popular and infectious. Smart and inventive, Billie wants to buy a Bunny Baby like all the other girls in her class. Asking mum results in the same response,'wait until Christmas'. Billie is unhappy. Her father suggests that she do some jobs for money and so she begins sweeping the driveway. But her friend from next door, Jack asks her to come and see what he has made. She declines, saying that she must finish her chore to get some money. Jack pitches in to help her, but later when he talks about buying something they both want, they argue.
Billie goes to bed feeling mean but when Mum takes her to buy the Bunny the next day, she has a change of heart.
As with the other Billie B Brown books, the seemingly simple story line is easy to grasp. The concepts of friendship and sharing in this one should be obvious to most readers, while the parallels to the real world that the readers inhabit stand out. Most children will be able to sympathise with Billie wanting something and being told to wait for Christmas, and most will have had arguments with their friends. The neat resolution will be easily digested by the readership, and the ending is something they can all aspire to. No wonder the Billie B Brown books are popular. They are also easy to handle, have short easy to digest chapters, have some words given in a different font, and illustrations giving a focus to the readers.
Fran Knight

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