Title: Billy and Blaze
Author: C. W. Anderson
I love this series. It’s a beautiful series. It’s a classic.
Billy and Blaze was originally published in 1936, written and illustrated by the very talented C.W.Anderson. Anderson wrote 11 books in this series I believe, Aladdin publishes eight of them as a set. The title Billy and Blaze is the first book that introduces you to how Billy and Blaze became good friends. Do you know that The Billy and Blaze stories are based on true stories or people that the author knew… only the plots were fictitious.
Beautiful story aside, the illustrations are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! The illustrations alone make these stories classic children’s literature! I could just stare at the drawings all day. It’s hard to find a book these days where it’s completely black and white pencil illustrations… in fact I’m pretty sure nobody really does that anymore. These are just exquisite… it’s amazing how talented this guy really is. You can see why this book has special place on my bookshelf 🙂
The language used here is simple and good. Yes, it’s good, proper English. The book makes an excellent Grade 1 reader. You can feel the beauty of the language too. The book is formatted in such a way that it is a picture book but feels like a short chapter book. So kids who hold this book in their hands will feel like they are reading big boy/big girl book 🙂
As you read the books in this series, children learn about responsibility as they see Billy caring for his horse. In the book Blaze and the Gray Spotted Pony, we also learn about compassion and sympathy. Billy’s younger neighbour, Tommy dreams about horses and gets toy horses for Christmas. Tommy drops hints to his parents that he really wants a REAL horse.
Sweet-natured Billy sympathizes and he allows Tommy to come join him and Blaze whenever he wants. He teaches Tommy how to groom Blaze, and how to ride. Finally, Tommy’s parents enlist Billy’s aid in surprising Billy with a pony for his birthday 🙂
I bought the set of eight books, in fact I bought three sets! They make great gifts to book lovers and this series is one I treasure as it is an absolutely classic. There are books you borrow from the library, and books that you want to keep for yourself. Billy and Blaze is definitely the latter for me!