Review Blog

Apr 12 2018

Bill Baillie: The life and adventures of a pet bilby by Ellis Rowan

cover image

National Library of Australia, 2018. ISBN 9780642279200
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Tabitha held out her hands for the baby creature with the large ears and the long hind legs. He was a bilby and Tabitha named him Bill Baillie. From this moment, they were together - forever.
Tabitha liked to go to interesting places to paint pictures of wildflowers, and Bill Baillie always went with her. Bill's life was full of adventures - he escaped and got lost, he travelled on wagons, trains and ships, he was threatened by a cat and chased by dogs, and he became wedged upside down inside a jug.
But, no matter who he met and what dangers he faced, 'His Highness Master Bill Baillie' always found his way back to Tabitha.
I found this book a great read. The book is presented with a mix of text and illustrations and is a great insight into the early times of Australia. It clearly shows the strong relationships that can be formed between animal and human. This book was originally written in 1908. You can not help but like the mischievous Bill and the trouble that he gets himself into and his innate ability to always find his way back to Tabitha. It also provides an insight into the plight of the bilby and the challenges it faced as civilisation and introduced species encroached on its habitat. I found the added information at the back of the book informative and welcome addition to the book to educate people about the plight of the bilby.
It is a book for children aged 8 and up and for those that love animals, a great read.
Kathryn Schumacher

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