Saturday 10 August 2019

Billy Stink's Incredible Circus Children's Book Review (Age 7+) Sent by Book Guild Publishing

Billy Stink's Incredible Circus is a recent release from Book Guild Publishing, who sent us a copy for review. Written by Rik Arron, this is a very special book as the entire text is a poem, but it's still a full length short story, with some great little illustrations by Nicola Anderson.

And it's really very good...

Billy Stink's Incredible Circus Children's Book cover with circus big top and bright loud illustration

Billy Stink runs a circus and one day a young boy, Titch, turns up. Titch has run away and the circus people have no way to find Titch's home and family, and he won't tell them anything, so they welcome him into their extended family and let him earn his keep working for the circus.

Titch has real talent and before very long becomes incredibly famous. It's no surprise his real family suddenly decide they want him back, along with his opportunity to earn a fortune. They begin to make real trouble for the circus, using the local media to accuse them of kidnapping and brainwashing Titch.

Billy Stink's Incredible Circus Children's Book Review text example inside page

People believe the press without question and it all looks terrible for Titch and Billy and the rest of the circus, so they have no choice but to go to the media themselves and tell the truth.

The story may be set in the past, but the message about 'fake news' and media lies is sadly still current. It's something children should learn, and this is a brilliant way to show by example just how easy it is to make assumptions without knowing the true story.

Billy Stink's Incredible Circus Children's Book text size reading age page layout

The poetry format works incredibly well and the tale is an excellent length. The story never loses pace and you feel a real empathy with the characters. It's a great little 'cautionary tale' and hopefully will teach quite a few children that poetry is not all limericks and romance.

We really enjoyed reading this book. I actually read it with my 9 and 10 year old boys at bedtime - because you are never too old to listen to a story. Because it's written in rhyming verse it was a lovely book to read aloud, and I always go overboard with the voices.

Billy Stink's Incredible Circus illustration by Nicola Anderson showing part of curcus ring with performers acrobats tattooed couple ringmaster

The illustrations are not to be missed.There are a few small drawings dotted throughout the book, and an amazing double page spread showing the entire circus. Illustrator Nicola Anderson has done a brilliant job and we all agreed she had captured the essence of the circus and the story perfectly.

Billy Stink's Incredible Circus is suitable for independent readers (or reading together) aged around 7+. It's very funny, yet very serious. Not a fairy story and not a 100% happy ending, but a heartwarming tale of finding your true family - whether you are related to them or not. And a reminder you shouldn't believe everything you read in the papers...

Billy Stink's Incredible Circus cover close up with circus big top tent and text 'a book length poem'

Billy Stink's Incredible Circus is written by Rik Arron, illustrated by Nicola Anderson and published by Book Guild Publishing. Paperback, 50 pages, rrp £7.99. Available direct from Book Guild Publishing, or from all good book shops instore and online, including from Amazon. 

My affiliate link is below with the latest Amazon price...

We were sent our copy of Billy Stink's Incredible Circus for review by Book Guild Publishing. Amazon links are affiliate, which never costs you a penny, but may earn me a few pence if you order through my link, as a thank you. 

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