From the Publisher
An outrageous story about an imaginary friend.
It was Oscar’s friend Billy who brought mud into the house, dressed the dog in Dad’s clothes and put frogs in Granny’s slippers – so why did Oscar get the blame? No one ever seemed to be able to see Billy – except Oscar, of course!
With bright, splashy pictures Ross tells the story of a boy named Oscar whose invisible friend Billy inevitably gets him into trouble. Among the crimes committed: leaving mud on the wall and puddles on the floor, surprising Granny by placing two frogs in her tartan slippers and creating havoc in the kitchen at breakfast with burned toast, spilled juice, broken eggs, sausages in the toaster and ketchup on the wall. Of course, Oscar’s parents are none too pleased with each unruly escapade. They react in red-faced anger and since they can’t see the invisible culprit, Oscar is blamed. While Oscar’s naughty deeds are understandable and sure to produce giggles, they also deftly demonstrate to children just how irritating even minor mischief can be. Ages 4-8. (March)
School Library Journal
PreS-K Ross’ full-page watercolors are energetic, exaggerated fun, like those in his other books. Oscar, an innocent looking little boy, gets into a lot of trouble. He dresses his dog in Dad’s clothes, washes the cat, makes a messy breakfast, and so on. His parents (who are prone to overreaction) blame him, but he blames his invisible friend Billy. The flat repetitive text accentuates Ross’s wacky illustrations all the more. After several episodes of Billy’s mischief, Oscar is sent to bed without a story. He says sadly, “It’s not fair. Nobody believes in my friend Billy.” On the last page, a devilish Billy appears for the first time and says, “They never do.” The rambunctious humor of Billy’s misdoings will be enjoyed by older preschoolers, although some may not understand the invisible Billy who appears only at the end. Oscar and Billy should generate some interesting discussions. Nancy Kewish, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland