Autumn struggles with
reading. The words won’t stay still on the page.
When she begs her dad Billy to
tell her and twin Jesse a bedtime story, a tremendous adventure unfolds as time
is peeled back.
Billy, the main character
of the verbal story, also has difficulty with words and learning. He loves tools and gadgets, fixing and
repurposing anything from the shed.
With his strong group of friends – Anna, Andy,
and Jimmy, they have explored the whole area where they live except Waterfall
Woods. Reluctant to test the stories about strange happenings, everyone has
For Billy, it is now a
challenge. Anna discovers a secret way over the huge flint wall that keeps them
out. Her incredible climbing skills are put to good use and over they go.
They discover another
world where The Rhythm, the harmony that governs life in the woods, is
different to nature they have experienced. They come across Basil, a magical Sprite, who befriends the children
after they save the Sprites from an enemy attack.
This opens a world of discovery
filled with continual adventures that leads the group to solve the mystery of
who is polluting the water and disrupting the harmony of the woods.
This is a fast-paced
read; inspiring, full of imagination and activity. There is a bully, a secret map, evidence of
giants, magical creatures, and unpredictable outcomes.
chapters are filled with clever happenings and language that children love to
read. The story is filled with environmental awareness, healthy eating habits
with recipes included at the end, thought-provoking phrases, and acts of kindness.
I loved reading this book
as its structure incorporates so many valuable examples for children, without
being didactic. The leading characters are resourceful and compassionate, each
owning a special gift.
Definitely a winner, Billy
and the Giant Adventure begins a series by the famous chef, Jamie Oliver.
It has taken him four years to realise a long-held dream. He has drawn on his
own life and experience with dyslexia, focusing on how much can be achieved when
you find something you love to do.
Title: Billy And The Giant Adventure
Author: Jamie Oliver
Illustrator: Monica Armino
Publisher: Penguin Random House, $14.99
Publication Date: 18 April 2023
For ages: 10 – 14
Type: Middle Grade Fiction