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Friday Fiction – Chilly Billy

Chilly Billy
Mayle
1983

Submitter: I found this rather bizarre children’s story accidentally miss-shelved in our easy readers. Chilly Billy is a small little man that lives in a refrigerator. The story recounts his many adventures roaming around vegetables, training for the trans-refrigerator races and falling in love with his nurse! I don’t think the safety warning inside the front cover is enough. Even though refrigerator deaths have declined significantly since refrigerators were redesigned in the 1950’s (by force of law), it is still not outside the realm of possibility. Children have active imaginations and I could easily see one deciding to climb into a refrigerator to look for Billy. Scary thought.

Other problems with the book include its format. The larger size doesn’t fit on the same shelf as other chapter books. Pages are loose and yellowing. The book hasn’t circulated since 2001. It’s past time for it to be gone (and this one will be heading to File 13 instead of the Friend’s Book Sale).

Holly: Cute book! I agree that the format is a little difficult for library shelving, though. The bigger problem for me is that it seems like a topic for a younger child – maybe kindergarten or so – but the vocabulary and sentence structures are somewhat advanced. It just doesn’t read like a book for the age group that this subject would appeal to. That said, I’d weed it because it hasn’t circulated in 13 years and has yellowing pages.

More Awful Books for the Kids:

Spanking vs. Doctor Appointment

Muffin is Dead

I is for Indian

End of the World for Kids

12 Responses to Friday Fiction – Chilly Billy

  • The same Peter Mayle who wrote A YEAR IN PROVENCE and LE DIVORCE wrote this? Oh my gosh. Weird but kind of cute.

    • Yep, it’s true. He also wrote some sex education books for young people before he struck gold with grownups in France.

  • I notice this falls in line with other Friday fiction in that he fell in love with his nurse!

  • When I was a kid I would sometimes take my small plastic dolls and play with them inside my parent’s deep freeze, or I make a miniature snowman in the winter and pretend he lived in it. I never went inside the freezer myself, but I think my parents had a problem with the bills going up.

  • When the front cover loaded, my first thought was that someone had drawn a penis on the cover.

  • The only danger this book poses is that it may put Mommy to sleep before she can finish reading it aloud to the kids!

  • What is File 13?

    • File 13 refers to the garbage can, David S.! Sometimes also colloquially known as the circular file.

  • oh my god this is a peter mayle book
    peter mayle is my first cousin thrice removed, I grew up reading his sex ed books
    why have I never seen this