Boa's Bad Birthday by Jeanne Willis

Boa's Bad Birthday

Written by Jeanne Willis
Illustrated by Tony Ross

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Best-selling picture book author/ illustrator duo capture the pitfalls of presents and the joy of them too! Boa’s really looking forward to his birthday and especially to all the presents his friends will bring. But every gift turns out to be completely wrong! Orang-utan brings him a piano but Boa has no fingers! Monkey brings him a pair of sunglasses but Boa has no ears or nose so they keep slipping off. Just when Boa is despairing of getting a single present he likes he gets an amazing surprise. ~ Julia Eccleshare

You can rely on this picture book team for surprises and laughter, whether they’re exploring human failings or some innocuous aspect of everyday life. Here the giving and receiving of presents comes under the Willis Ross spotlight. The animals are bringing birthday presents for Boa but none of them seem to have given any thought at all as to what Boa might actually like. As he unwraps a series of presents totally unsuitable for snakes, including a piano, a hairbrush and a football, his disappointment seems funnier and funnier, until dung beetle tops it all with a present of … you can probably guess. A final clever twist leaves everyone smiling on the last page. ~ Andrea Reece


Boa's Bad Birthday by Jeanne Willis

It was Boa's birthday. It was going to be the best one ever. Or so he hoped. He invited his friends round. They would all bring him wonderful presents. Or would they?

Boa's excitement soon leads to disappointment as he opens his gifts. A piano for a snake - how will he play it..? Boa has to learn to accept his presents with good grace, after all it's the thought that counts!

A hilarious tale to encourage young children to accept presents gracefully, from
the award-winning team of Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross


'A hilarious way to encourage young children to accept presents gracefully.' -- Vanessa Lewis Booksellers Choice, The Bookseller

'A dream team of writer and illustrator!' The Times

'The understated humour of Jean Willis’ straight-talking text is the perfect counterpart to Ross’ illlustrations. The Willis/Ross partnership just goes from strength to strength' -- Red Reading Hub

'A book that teaches good manners and emotional resilience in a light-hearted way' -- EYE

'Another hit from one of the most popular author/illustrator teams in children's books today' -- The School Librarian

About the Author

Jeanne Willis

Jeanne Willis was born in St Albans and trained as an advertising copywriter at Watford College. She worked for various agencies creating press adverts and TV, cinema and radio commercials. She is now a full-time writer. Jeanne Willis is one of the most successful children’s picture book authors in the UK. Jeanne Willis wrote her first book aged five and has now written over eighty titles. She has won numerous awards, including the Children's Book Award, the Silver Smarties Prize and has been shortlisted for the Whitbread Award. She has written Who’s in the Loo? which won the Red House Children’s Book Award. Her hobbies include gardening, reading (nonfiction), natural history and collecting caterpillars. Jeanne has also worked on scripts for TV, including Polly Pocket and The Slow Norris, and a pilot TV series for Dr Xargle. She lives in North London with her husband and two children.

Photo credit: Justine Stoddart

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Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: To 5


Jeanne Willis
More books by Jeanne Willis

Author's Website


Andersen Press Ltd

Publication date

4th July 2016




Publisher Profile

Andersen Press Ltd is an imprint of Andersen Press

logo Andersen Press is one of the leading independent children’s publishers, publishing some of the biggest names in the world of children's books including the much-loved picture book characters the Little Princess and Elmer the patchwork elephant. Andersen Press is the home of many award-winning authors and illustrators including Melvin Burgess, Rebecca Stead, Satoshi Kitamura, Tony Ross, David McKee, Chris Judge and Jeanne Willis. Founded in 1976 by Klaus Flugge it won the Bologna Best Children’s Publisher prize in the European Category in 2016, the company’s 40th anniversary year.

Publisher's Website

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