- Billy’s Booger: A Memoir (Sorta)
- written and illustrated by William Joyce
- published by Atheneum Books (Simon & Schuster) (2015)
- Roar Score: 5/5
This hilarious picture book became an instant favorite in my house. With that title, how could it not? Billy’s Booger is about a young imaginative boy named Billy who has a hard time paying attention at school and whose imagination is always getting him into trouble. Until he enters a book contest and channels that creative energy into his very own book: Billy’s Booger: The Memoir of a Little Green Nose Buddy.
Best title ever, by the way.
The art here is phenomenal, and the story is at once charming and laugh-out-loud funny. None of this should come as a surprise, since William Joyce won an Academy Award (Best Animated Short Film) for his art and storytelling on The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.
But what sets this book apart from the rest – what makes it something truly special – is the production quality. Yes, you read that right.
Included in the middle of this book is a reproduction of young Billy’s book. Printed on different paper and designed to look handwritten (complete with spelling mistakes and doodles), it’s a fantastic addition to the book and an engrossing “side trip” that brings the reader into the story.
Joyce’s art throughout, as I said, is phenomenal. If that’s all there were to this book, it would be worth it. But there’s so much more. The reproduction book inside is hilarious, yes. It’s perfectly aimed at young readers, yes. It gives superpowers to a booger, yes.
But, more than anything else, it inspires kids to make their own books. To capture their wild imagination in words and get those words on paper. To draw silly pictures and illustrate their stories. To become authors.
And any book that aspires to create young authors and artists is an automatic win in my book. Bravo, Mr. Joyce. Job well done.
Billy’s Booger is highly recommended.