Picking at Billy’s Booger by William Joyce

BillyBoogerI never played any Beatle albums backwards to hear secret messages.

I think I found one, however, in the new William Joyce book.

First of all, don’t flick away (booger humor…sorry) the full title, which is…

Billy’s Booger: a memoir (sorta), by William Joyce and his younger self

When I saw the book, I geeked out. At last!

After all, I learned about the real-life story behind the story YEARS AGO. The project began when Joyce was a fourth grader. He mentioned the effort (on page 46) of his 1997 picture-bookish memoir, The World of William Joyce Scrapbook.

What he entered as a contest only got him a trip to the principal’s office!

Amazingly, this picture book has a recreation of his childhood edition. There’s a 12-page insert in the new book, a book showing Joyce’s classic, whimsical paintings. (Yes, the three preview paintings from 1997 are included.)

Writers, take heart. A project that was only a dream in 1997 became reality, waiting all those years.

Here’s the Beatle-like subtext I think Joyce has slipped in. Is it a retort for publishers? Retailers? Reviewers?

All of the above, perhaps. Billy’s controversial book becomes a cult classic at his school, it seems.

Starred reviews and national book awards, or the adoration of the reading public?

I think William Joyce has chosen.

I choose William Joyce. I hope you will, too.


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