Review Blog

May 29 2014

Spooky house by Sally Rippin

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Billie B. Brown series. Hardie Grant Egmont, 2013. ISBN 9781742976518.
(Age: 6-8) Recommended. In this, another starring the very popular Billie B Brown, Billie and her friends form a Secret Mystery Club and their quest for mysteries to solve leads them to the spooky house at the end of her street. Just who lives there? Unfortunately, Billie's imagination is a bit too much for her friends and they threaten to leave. Undaunted, Billie is determined to find out and sets up a plan - one which puts her in a very awkward situation with her family! Trying to dig herself out of that hole means visiting the spooky house, accompanied by her friend Jack for security but what happens there sets up a heart-thumping situation, and teaches Billie a sound lesson about friendship.
This book is the first in a new series featuring Billie B Brown, a character familiar to many already through the Billie B. Brown series. It is probably best described by teachers as a "beginning chapter book". With its short chapters, large font and monochrome illustrations, it is a perfect bridge between the structure of the instructional reader and a novel, enabling independent reading. The storylines of that series are engaging and at the right level for the 6-8 year-old girl. They could imagine being in Billie's circle of friends and empathise with her. Now that Miss 7 is becoming more independent with her reading she is loving this series and was thrilled that this was a new one to explore.
The Billie B. Brown series is a must-have on your library shelves to cater appropriately for those 6-8 year-old girls who are still little girls and this spin-off series will be eagerly anticipated.
Barbara Braxton

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