This book is about being scared. Most people are scared of something, and sometimes people are scared of things that seem daft. But it doesn’t matter how crazy it seems to other people – if you’re scared of orange peel it’s just as bad as being scared of tigers or wasps or earthquakes.
I’m not allowed to tell you who it was who was scared of earthquakes, but she was a real person, and still is. I have known people who were scared of all of the things that Billy is scared of – just not all at the same time.
We used to have seagulls at a school where I worked. Two of them liked to walk about on the roof looking down through the skylights at the children working. But most of them left in the end. They only came for the crumbs from the children’s crisps and biscuits, but nowadays only healthy snacks are allowed. It seems that seagulls don’t like healthy snacks. They turn up their beaks at apple cores and banana skins.
The funny thing is that although the seagulls used to swoop down right over the heads of the children I never once saw a child at our school who was afraid of them. The children at our school were a whole lot tougher than Billy.
Both this book and Nice One, Smithy! have great pictures by Kate Sheppard.