Billy’s Booger

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Billy’s Booger written and illustrated by William Joyce and his younger self (2015)

Billy is a kid with a great imagination, but not much interest in school. Especially math. As a matter of fact, Billy is the principal’s most challenging student. The one thing Billy likes to do is draw. So when he hears that there is a contest to write a book, Billy thinks he can finally do something right. He writes a book about a booger, his booger, a super booger. The booger is actually very smart and is excellent at math. The booger helps Billy with his math homework and soon Billy is the smartest person in the world. Even the president calls Billy to answer important math questions. Now, Billy thinks his book is quite fantastic and submits it for the contest. However, the judge (and principal) doesn’t agree. Billy’s book doesn’t win first, second, or third prize. It doesn’t even win honorable mention. But, his book is the one most of the kids check out of the library. So there’s that. And that makes Billy smile!

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William Joyce says this is a true story, and that the book Billy wrote is actually one he wrote himself in the fourth grade. So that’s pretty cool, right? It makes you think you might want to save some of your kid’s stories from childhood, just in case they grow up and want to publish one some day.

You can begin by making sure your kid has plenty of paper, pencils, and crayons around to create their first masterpieces.

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