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Billy's Booger

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  724 ratings  ·  179 reviews
A young lad who would rather draw than do math, spell, or gargle finds the perfect outlet for his always-on imagination in this manifesto to creative joie de vivre, featuring a book within a book, from the brilliant minds that brought you The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

Billy loves to draw. He draws on books and on his homework and even on his math tests&
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  724 ratings  ·  179 reviews

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The title is kind of gross, but this is a cute little book. As it says on the cover, it’s sorta a memoir.

William Joyce wrote this about Billy, his 4th grade self. There was a book writing contest that year and Billy entered the contest. There is a little insert with what looks to be the actual book he wrote about a super booger that helps Billy with Math after a meteor hit his room. He even drew the pictures in the little book. He did not win the contest, but his book was the most popular and ch
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The fictionalized picture book memoir is a fairly new creation, when you get right down to it. It’s not as if Sendak was telling tales about a little boy in Brooklyn or Margaret Wise Brown was penning nostalgic stories of a girl in a Swiss boarding school. But somewhere during the latter part of the 20th century, the form sort of took off. Tomie dePaola typified it with books like Oliver Button Is a Sissy. Michael Rosen took an adult perspective in The Sad Book. And Patricia Polacco has practi ...more
Laura Harrison
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Pure fun and a book within a book (Billy's own book). Clever and beautiful. Possibly Caldecott worthy. ...more
I know this book deserves a better rating than I gave it, but I just really can't get past the idea of the word booger being in the title. There are certain gross things that make some people laugh and other people cringe. I'm in the latter category with this one. That doesn't mean I don't recognize that this is a great piece of writing and has wonderful artwork. I just wish it weren't about a booger ...more
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This memoir in picture book format celebrates the creativity of a child destined to become an author. William has trouble at school. He wishes math were as much fun as the comics in the newspaper. He wants to play invented sports in gym instead of the normal ones. Notes are sent home from school. Then along comes a creative writing contest and William is very excited. He works and works on his entry. It’s title is Billy’s Booger and it’s all about a booger in his nose that gets super powers. But ...more
Amber Harper
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Any book with a title that includes the word booger is an immediate win for my fifth grade boys!
In the style of Amelia with her notebooks and creative doodles, young Billy Joyce does his best to make school as interesting as the chagrin of his teachers and principal. His creativity becomes his greatest asset when the school librarian announces a book writing contest, and in a brilliant show of design in publishing, Billy's short story is included right inside this book. Billy write
Jul 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Children's Book

I teach 4th grade. I have had students just like the one mentioned in this book. I have grown to love these little quirky kids- the ones who are creative in their own way. As a teacher I have to be concerned with how much they are learning and improving, but I have come to realize how each individual has gifts and I try to find ways in which they can shine. I loved this book- especially the illustrations. It would be an excellent picture book to read to the class- before attemptin
Mar 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
In the library, we try to discourage nose picking. It's a huge temptation...especially when your loving librarian is reading the perfect book to you. Your fingers just gravitate toward your nose. The librarian may try to subtly discourage you or she might have to flat out say, "There is no nose picking in the library!" With all this emphasis on nose picking, this librarian was sure that Billy's Booger would be a top "PICK" for her March Madness boards. And it was! One of the great things about B ...more
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love William Joyce! His books are always so interesting and his illustrations are gorgeous. BUT, BILLY'S BOOGER is amazing. I love that it is built around the actual children's book he wrote as a child (which is included in this book between the pages of the story). This is a great book to share with those students who dream of being authors and illustrators. Just because your work doesn't win an award, doesn't mean that people don't love it. We know that as adults, too. Some of the books we l ...more
Carrie Charley Brown
Amazing that a book about a booger can bring me to tears and connect in such an emotional way. I love that Billy's Booger celebrates the scrutiny that "different" kids go through and also the amount of work that it takes to make it in school and life. Every writer needs to read this book, which includes elementary students to beginning aspiring authors and seasoned ones, too. The theme of never giving up rings through this story with a resounding, "Go for it!" ...more
Sarah Butson
Mar 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Beautiful illustrations, with a retro/ historical style. It is a memoir which is notable.
Creative- inclusion of the book that young Billy wrote for a school comp- These pages are textured and smaller than the rest of the book. This makes for a very engaging read.
Lesson: marks at school aren't everything. Creativity is important and respect from your peers counts.

Kaethe Douglas
May 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am not normally a fan of booger jokes. But I trust William Joyce. This is a book by the adult Joyce about how he came to write his first book when he was ten or so, a book called Billy's Booger, which is included.

Very cool.

Library copy
Jason Griffith
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Loved the inclusion of the hand-drawn comic from the author's childhood. A funny and unique memoir including a genuine childhood artifact, and I loved the message- sometimes work created and acclaimed within traditional boundaries is not the most interesting or useful to an audience. ...more
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Love love love love love.
Michele Knott
It's not too often you can say there's a mentor text to use when teaching writing that centers around a booger... I bet you'll get the kids' attention!
Laugh out loud funny.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pbf-general
I expected it too be very gross, but it wasn't, really. More about Billy writing his first book. ...more
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is laugh out loud funny! Love this story!!
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Aw, it's so sweet! ...more
Kayla Zepeda
it was very funny and brought a sense of childhood back.
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think that this book was very good and I actually love it.
scarlett pierson
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is why I teach. For all the weird kids.
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Four stars for the illustrations (and because Sarah did).
Ben Truong
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Billy's Booger is a children's picture book written and illustrated by William Joyce. It retells an incident from his childhood – one that probably started his career in writing.

The text is rather simplistic and straightforward. The writing has a nostalgic and timeless quality to it. It is rather inventive that it is a book within a book – story within a story. The illustrations were wonderfully done and brilliantly colored and Billy's childlike drawing (the book within the book) were equally wo
Not all books about boogers are worth reading, however, when you take a highly interesting subject, sprinkle it with memoir (of a fourth grade boy) and sneak in reading and writing, you have a winner!
From the highly creative author of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, Billy's Booger is loosely based upon the author and is sure to be another favorite. A book within a book, Billy's Booger is the story of Billy who has a great imagination and would rather draw than do math, spellin
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
William Joyce reaches back into his past to resurrect his budding talents for writing and illustration. As the principal's "most challenging student," Billy isn't doing well at math but he certainly is creative, both at school and at home. (A delightful photo on the jacket proves the young Joyce was as creative in real life.) When there is a contest to write a book, Billy throws everything he has into creating Super Booger, certain he will win the contest.
I have loved Joyce's books since Santa
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
A book within a book; the artist/ author's first book, from his fourth grade debut, very nearly, an autobiography! I am thankful he had such supportive parents to nurture his obvious talents.
The facsimile of his first book adds so much charm.
The grip of nostalgia took me at the turn to the title page with its illustration like the old textbooks, and classic typeface. The text of the book is in retro-style Futura with its clean lines, and the colors are vivid, as Joyce often does so well. Include
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful children's fiction picture book, written and illustrated by William Joyce. The story is about a boy who has imagination to spare and has a knack for getting sent to the principals office. There is a contest at school to write a book, and he writes a story from the perspective of his booger. The illustrations are on point throughout the book, from the realistic, newspaper style comics, to the hand drawn in child-like writing memoir. The illustrations bring the story to life an ...more
Virginia Jacobs
This book was awesome on so many levels. For those of you who don't know who William Joyce is, he's the guy behind the short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

Billy's Booger is the story behind the first book William Joyce ever wrote--as a school boy. And, it includes a copy of that first book.

The story is about a delightfully strange boy who wants to be a writer, and the first story he writes. You should read it to your kids. And you should read the boards of the book--the
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William Joyce does a lot of stuff—films, apps, Olympic curling—but children’s books are his true bailiwick (The Numberlys, The Man in the Moon, Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King, Toothiana, and the #1 New York Times bestselling The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which is also an Academy Award–winning short film, to name a few). He lives with his family in Shre ...more

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