Reading/Interest Level: Preschool
Author: Jennifer Hamburg
Illustrator: Ross Burach
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Billy Bloo faces an extraordinary predicament. It’s not every day that he finds himself trapped in sticky green goo. A classic comedy of errors ensues when characters as varied as an octopus and a cowgirl attempt to get Billy out of the mess. However, the well-intentioned yet misfortunate stream of rescuers all find themselves caught up in the same jam—er, goo. Eventually, Billy and his newfound friends escape, but only Billy remains free for long. He then faces a dilemma to save his friends and risk getting stuck in the goo again.
Accompanied by bright, whimsical cartoon-style illustrations and told in catchy rhyming verse, Billy Bloo is heavily geared towards preschool and even older toddler audiences. The book is an example of comedy at its finest as the rescuers comically all end up needing rescuing themselves, making it an ideal choice for an engaging and attention-capturing read-aloud book. The characters and illustrations add tremendous strength to the story. Each character is extremely emotive and unique, which variety and vibrancy brings welcome diversity and fresh interest to the somewhat repetitive rhyme structure of the story. Different font sizes and even different fonts and the occasional speech bubble further add to the visual interest of this book.