Billy and the Beast by Nadia Shireen
When Billy and her friend Fatcat are kidnapped while walking in the woods, it just so happens that a hungry Beast is collecting ingredients for a terribly wicked soup.
Can Billy save her friends from the Beast’s cruel culinary agenda? This is a fantastic story of friendship where the characters are also smart and very kind.
"It's still all too unusual to see a brown girl star in such a brilliantly funny and very commercial picture book and Shireen has created Billy in fantastic style. She's a very modern heroine, quick-thinking, courageous and resourceful with a stash of handy props in her truly excellent big hair. Children will adore the repetitive read-aloud text, endearing characters and just the right amount of peril for a bedtime story - with a highly satisfying ending. And visually it's a complete treat too: Shireen's typically lively bold graphics brim with energy and expression, aided by really striking design. This might just be my favourite of her fabulous books to date." (The Bookseller)
"While the title may nod to a certain fairytale there's not even a whiff of ballgowns or romance in Nadia Shireen's joyous monster-slaying adventure. Refreshingly, the heroine here is a brown girl with a yellow cagoule, skinny jeans and a fabulously frizzy beehive in which she stashes essentials from emergency doughnuts to useful devices. British author Shireen has created her best character yet in the feisty and fun Billy, who rescues her woodland pals from the claws of a goofy green beast." (The Guardian)
"Clever Billy outwits a Terrible Beast who wants to eat her woodland friends. The characters are enterprising, the text surprising and the layout engaging, with paths that wind across the page and changes of perspective; and the pictures are humorous, not least the worried face of a fox dangling upside down." (The Sunday Times)
"Nadia Shireen's Billy and the Beast celebrates the experience of those often left out of picture books, with its brave brown heroine and the outrageous array of props she stores in her huge cloud of hair. Lively, energetic, full of well-timed humour (and a sidekick called Fatcat), it's a great story for everyone, especially those not used to seeing themselves centre stage." (The Guardian)