Tuesday 3 July 2012

Burglar Bill by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg (Puffin Books)

Oooh it's controversial, but when the 'boss' of this blog says something is so, it is so. And so (and sew and sew) it came to pass that on the first week of July, 2012, we ended up with two books of the week here on ReadItDaddy. Charlotte absolutely could not choose between "I Want A Dog!" and this little tome from way back in 1977. Allan Ahlberg, children's literary genius - and his illustrator wife Janet came up with this - way back before parents were demanding that libraries threw away any books likely to subvert their little cotton-wool-wrapped darlings.

It's probably just as well our local library doesn't go in for any of those ridiculous shenanigans, because Burglar Bill is such an excellent book.

It tells the story of a burglar (no!) named Bill (really?) and his nightly antics as he makes his way through the little street behind the police station, burgling people's houses.

Right about now, liberal wishy washy parents are probably lying in a dead faint, so we can carry on without offending them. Burglar Bill is the epitome of a loveable rogue, returning home every morning to enjoy his stolen fish and chip supper, a stolen cup of tea, sitting at his stolen table on a stolen chair before snuggling up in his stolen bed with his (stolen?) cat.

Burglar Bill's life changes completely when he steals a big brown box with holes in the lid. With his trademark cry of "That's a nice (something or other), I'll have that!", he makes off with the box.

What happens next? Aha you think I'm going to tell you? You think I'm going to ruin one of the best children's books ever written by giving away the major plot points and the endings? Hah, think again - suffice to say that this is a book that deserves to be listed right up there amongst the Gruffalos, along with the Bear Hunts and right next to The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It might sound slightly unsavoury, and obviously it's alright to write books about pirates and zombies, bogie-picking trolls and nefarious witches but not Burglars, OK?

Charlotte's best bit: Boglaboll!

Daddy's favourite bit: Burglar Bill's favourite phrases, "That's a nice (something), I'll 'ave that!" and  "Well Blow Me Down!"

Rating: 5 out of 5 sacks of loot, Joint Book Of The Week!