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Billy and the Birdfrogs

A Novel by B. B. Wurge

I lived with my grandmother for the first nine years of my life. We lived in a townhouse in the middle of Manhattan. It was four stories tall, but very skinny. It always reminded me of a thin person in brown clothes, standing on the street corner with his hands in his pants pockets.

When I was about four years old, my grandmother used a welding torch to seal off the basement door in the kitchen. I remember her kneeling and holding the bright blue spear of flame to the crack under the door. The doorframe and the door were both metal, and the flame melted them together. My grand-mother wore a pair of flowered oven mittens and a facemask with darkened glass to protect her eyes. She couldn’t kneel on a rug because the rug might have caught on fire, so she had to kneel on the hard kitchen tile, which must have hurt her knees.

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Also by B.B. Wurge:

From School Library Journal, Dec. 4, 2008, Book of the Day

"Recently in a particularly deep cranny I found Billy and the Birdfrogs, a book that survives by the sheer weight of its own insane internal logic...There's definitely an element of Dahl's fondness for weirdness in this pup. For those funny-book junkies out there, Billy fulfills a need. Downright weird, and that's a-okay wih me, it's worth a gander." read the complete review

from Midwest Book Review, November 2008

"Wurge's creative imagination triggers a chain reaction as the plot develops. [He] uses mystery, suspense, conflict, to build a plot of nonstop adventure. His character development is superb. Billy and the Birdfrogs is filled with clever illustrations, delightful humor, and a marvelous story...designed to be enjoyed by children ages 9-12, but with an appeal for all ages. An ideal book for reading aloud to young children. Entertaining, downright funny, and highly imaginative. A great read."

"Go on a comic adventure! Allow yourself to embrace this wacky tale of an eccentric but loving grandmother and her courageous grandson by traveling down the endless tunnel of B.B. Wurge's wild imagination!"

--T.M. Murphy
Author of The Bellown Mystery Series

"Be advised – “Billy and the Birdfrogs” has to be read in one sitting. The reader can try to stretch it out over time but chances are s/he won’t succeed – it’s that exciting – edge of your seat – nail biting – page turning. That being said, it is also one of the funniest books ever written and the reader will have to pause for laughter’s sake.

Every child should have a grandmother like Billy’s; the strongest, most inventive, loving, hilarious – some say a little crazy – woman ever to grace the pages of a book. But there is a lot of ‘crazy’ in Billy and the Birdfrogs; crazy characters, situations, solutions.

Ignoring, perhaps redefining logic, B. B. Wurge has fashioned an unbelievable story that ultimately makes perfect sense. Of course there could be a deep hole beneath the basement, housing skeletons of ancient animals. Why not a world of tiny creatures living underground? Why wouldn’t a caring grandmother seal the house against them?

Doubtless, B. B. Wurge will be compared to other writers of literature for children, but he has a voice that is unique and fresh and, one hopes, he is prepared to write for a very long time."

--Catherine Safer, author of What if Your Mom Made Raisin Buns and Bishop's Road

When the author claims to live in an elevator in Manhattan, and to have a degree in hair growth and zoology, we can expect the unexpected. B. B. Wurge began writing children’s books after leaving his first career as an orangutan in a New York primate house. He says, “I’ve been told the world is crazy, more now than ever. That may be true, but children should know they can navigate successfully through our crazy world if they stick to fundamental principles: loyalty to family and friends, compassion, and an open imagination.”

Billy and the Birdfrogs certainly has an “open imagination,” one reminiscent of Roald Dahl. Wurge delights in redefining logic and creating bizarrely impossible scenarios that somehow make perfect sense. When Billy’s house is invaded by mysterious “birdfrogs” that leave three-footed prints but are never seen, his very odd grandmother takes drastic action. Sketches by “Billy” add to the humor while being remarkably expressive of emotion in their simplicity. Offbeat humor, crazy villains, and the final triumph of family loyalty combine in this book to delight anyone with an imagination.

For more about B.B. Wurge, go to www.bbwurge.com

CATEGORY: Fiction, Middle Grade
PAGES: 178
TRIM: 5.25 x 7.75
ISBN: 978-0-9815148-2-6
PRICE: $9.95 / Paperback Original
Pub Date: October 2008

 

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