Hardback, Walker Books, £8.99, out now
“Badger Bill was having a very bad evening, maybe the worst of his whole life. He was stuck inside a bag. It was an extremely scratchy and horrible bag and it smelled as if someone who was also a badger had been crying inside it a few days earlier and then maybe after that had been sick”. So begins Bill’s scary but also very funny adventure, in a new children’s book from Riverside favourite A L Kennedy (see https://theriversideway.wordpress.com/2016/10/18/serious-sweet-by-a-l-kennedy/).
Despite featuring four depressed llamas who also need rescuing by the unusual Uncle Shawn, this book is stuffed with kindness as well as proper laughs. If the reader can cope with the scary bits in Roald Dahl’s books, I think they can manage this: it’s recommended for age seven and up and everyone I know who has read it so far has loved it (three adults and one seven year old).
As well as being a proper adventure with quality baddies, the book is surprisingly comforting on the experiences of being anxious and scared, and also on showing courage in the face of these feelings. Gemma Correll’s illustrations are just as funny as the text (we sell her excellent cards in the shop too).
There is also a character called Ginalolobrigida Llama. Nuff said.
Review by Bethan