Book Review: Fluff and Billy by Nicola Killen

I love the sight of a child pretending to read (imitating), whether it is reading to themselves or to younger siblings or soft toys. It may be cute to watch and listen to,  but it is also an important part of the pre-reading phase. Toddlers and pre-schoolers won’t necessarily recognise the letters and words on the page but they will read the story they see in the illustrations, or read from memory.

I’m always on the lookout for books that will foster this pre-reading skill. Mostly these books are constructed of simple sentences that rhyme or are repeated throughout the story. They give children the opportunity to see words over and over again, and they begin to make a connection between letters and sounds.  Monkey and Me and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? are two of our favourites.

Cam and I have recently come across another book which has become a new favourite of ours, and one which Cam likes to read to herself.  I was keen to share it with you.


Fluff and Billy are two gorgeous penguins who do everything together. Fluff is a little older than Billy. Our guess is that he is Billy’s big brother, and Billy likes to copy everything that he does.

Fluff and Billy is a conversational story, and Billy repeats every one of Fluff’s sentences.

‘I’m swimming! Said Fluff

I’m swimming! Said Billy

I’m Splashing! Said Fluff

I’m Splashing! Said Billy’

This text is made up of simple sentences, and the book is a perfect invitation for children to join in with reading, alongside an adult. Not only do we take it in turns to read, but we love to act out the story as well.

The book, as well as contributing to a child’s reading skills also has a really delightful story about friendship. Fluff decides he’s not talking to Billy after being hit by a snowball. So, of course, Billy decides he won’t talk to Fluff either. After a short time of not talking, Fluff looks over at Billy on a wordless page and notices him crying. A little tickle is all it takes to forgive and forget their little tiff.

Nicola Killen’s illustrations are as cute-as-pie too. She illustrates in watercolours and her style is not dissimilar to Anna Walker’s. Her use of water blue and canary yellow really contribute to the warmth you feel for this simple but valuable book for children. You can read about the illustrations in the making here.

Book Details:

By Nicola Killen

ISBN: 978-1405254250

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Egmont Books, October 2011

RRP: $16.95 (aud)

Suitable for ages 1+ (★★★★★)

Also by Nicola Killen…..


Not Me! was published a little earlier than Fluff and Billy, but is equally as delightful.

On the title page we are introduced to 5 adorable children and their accomplice, Jess the Pup. Each of them gets up to a little mischief, painting walls and dropping peas all over the floor.

Not Me! is a rhyming book, and one that takes you through an investigation. And as the reader, you get to be the detective.

Throughout the book questions are posed: ‘Who’s been eating all the cake?, Who’s been playing in the rain?’ Although each of the children reply with “Not Me!”, the clues are in each of the illustrations, which suggest that the children aren’t being entirely truthful.

Although Jess the Pup has been a part of every scene she decides she’s not going to help clean and tidy up. Cheeky little pup.

Every part of this book has been thoughtfully constructed. The rhymes are simple but effective and the illustrations are completely adorable and revealing. Nicola introduces the children on the title page, and the story ends on the copyright page where we see them tidying up. If you take a look at the bottom right hand corner of each page, you see a little bit of the subsequent page creep into the illustration.

This is a winning book, and one you will surely love as much as we do.

Book Details:

By Nicola Killen

ISBN : 978-1405248303

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Egmont Books, 2010

RRP: $16.95 (aud)

Suitable for ages 1+ (★★★★★)

Book Review: Fluff and Billy by Nicola Killen


  1. They both sound gorgeous, I will have to check them out for my 18 month old, Just love the sound of Fluff and Billy!

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