Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Billy and Ant tell a lie to cover the true reasons that they were late for school. When complications arise, their lie is found out. What consequences will they face?
The author, James Minter, gifted a copy of this book to me in exchange for my review. Apologies to him for the time it has taken for me to review this work.
James Minter’s series of Billy books seeks to teach children life lessons and the values that accompany them. In Billy and Ant Lie, Billy Field and Ant Turner are on their way to school when they find a pound coin and decide to buy candy. When they’re late for school instead of telling the teacher the truth of the matter, they tell her that there was a problem with one of their bikes. Of course, once the police become involved, their lie will be revealed and the potential consequences to the children from their school and parents are terrifying.
Minter’s writing style is quite active. When we meet Billy the description of his daily commute is quite the thrill ride. When they reach the gas station the glass in the door explodes. As an adult I’m wondering why they felt they had to lie as they had a pretty valid reason for being late for school (even if they did take a chance by pushing the time they had). I’m sure the lie makes sense to a child. As things snowball, the children are forced to examine the fallout and Minter presents that chain of events in a way that will highlight to the target audience the pitfalls of dissembling.
At 53 pages, Billy and Ant Lie is perfect for beginning readers. Kids will love the mischievous Billy and Ant. Their quick banter and rapid fire decision making will lead to quickly establishing a bond with a reader. Americans may be a bit thrown off by the English jargon, but it’s easily picked up and knowledge that will last them a lifetime (trust the middle aged woman who had no problem translating). Helen Rushworth’s illustrations are beautifully drawn and a great asset to Billy and Ant Lie.
The Billy books make great gifts for young readers. Billy and Ant Lie is well written and does not talk down to its target audience. If you’re looking for a gift for a child in Grades 1 – 3 or a teacher, pick this one up today.