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From Pictures to Words - a guide to choosing books for beginner readers: Rhyme


Hairy Bill by Susan Price
Published by Macmillan Children’s Books, 2002
ISBN 0-333-96256-7
Illustrations © Chris Riddell, 2002

Another story in the Shock Shop series, Hairy Bill is a short scary story for younger readers. The story opens with a scratching and muttering in Alex’s unused bedroom fireplace and, whatever it is, it most certainly is not Father Christmas.

Alex’s mum comes from the Black Isle in Scotland. The Matheson’s farm had always been haunted by a bogle so when Aunt Jennie dies the bogle, Hairy Bill, comes to live with them.

When the bogle first arrives Alex is not too put out by his presence but he soon changes his mind. Not before he causes total mayhem both inside and outside the house does the family manage to get rid of Hairy Bill.

Seven short chapters tell the story of this unusual monster and his exploits, complemented by excellent drawings by Chris Riddell. Like all books in the series Hairy Bill is suited to young readers who have begun to read confidently alone.

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