Friday, April 15, 2011

Bill Peet Reforms a Reluctant Reader!

I bet a lot of these look familiar!
When I was in first grade, I had a bit of a problem, I loathed reading! I was a good reader, but I always thought it took up far too much of my valuable kid time! I'd much rather be scaling the monkey bars or playing Ghost in the Graveyard with the neighbor kids (nighttime version of tag, much more fun in the dark!).
At parent teacher conferences, much to their mortification, my parents were informed about my lack of enthusiasm when it came to reading. We had a list hanging in the classroom with everyone's name on it and a star for each book a student had finished. Let's just say my name might have been at the bottom of that dreaded list and might have had maybe one star...or possibly none at all!

Long story short, duly worried, my mother forced me to our local library. The librarian asked me what I liked. I told her I liked animals and I like going to the zoo. She said, "I have just the book for you!" She vanished into an aisle and quickly returned with a book in hand.  She handed me the book. It didn't look too long, so I liked that! It was called HUBERT'S HAIR-RAISING ADVENTURE. The cover looked crazy! There was a lion, a zebra, a rhino and something that might be a goat, all tangled up in a massive pile of legs and hooves. My interest peaked!

The book that won me over!
My fascination with books began at that moment, all thanks to famed author and illustrator, Bill Peet. His book that got me started, HUBERT'S HAIR-RAISING ADVENTURE, has been in print for 52 years (yes, I said 52)!

After that day in the library, I read every single book that Bill Peet ever created--and the list is long! I have an inkling that Bill Peet's wonderful books are a reason I love writing about animals so much today! It's amazing that one person's writing can make a child love reading and eventually writing so very much.
The Awesome Bill Peet
You can find out more about Bill Peet at I highly recommend his books for any young reader--reluctant or otherwise. His stories are absolutely relevant to today's world and could have been written yesterday! They are fun, exciting, teach great lessons about life and are beautifully illustrated by Bill Peet, covering just about any animal or creature you can think of!
A young Bill Peet sketching Dumbo for Disney

Hmmm...from reluctant reader to published author! Sounds like I've had a hair-raising adventure of my own! Okay, that was cheesy, but you know what I mean!

xoxo -- Hilary


  1. He is one of my absolute favorites! I adore his books--they are on the must-have list for my daughter's bookshelf. Thank you for posting about such a fabulous author/illustrator! I honestly could fill up your comment section with how much I love him, so I'll stop now :)

  2. Oooh, these look great! I'm going to head to the library and get a couple for my son. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. I had the same experience! I actually wasn't a very good reader in the early grades, but I remember my second-grade teacher reading "Herbert's Hair-Raising Adventure," and I absolutely fell in love with his books! Every time I went to the library I asked for Bill Peet. My kids love "The Ant and the Elephant."

  4. I lurve Bill Peet! It's so nice to see such a lovely tribute to him. :)

  5. My nephew has the Bill Peet autobiography. I borrowed it from him the last time I visited. Good fun!

  6. What fabulous illustrations! I will definitely check out his books.

  7. Awesome story, Hilary! I didn't realize the name behind the drawings. Imagine if your books could the same, even for one kid, how fantastic would that be?

  8. Such an inspiring life story! *sniffles* I'm sure your books will help future kids love reading as well!

  9. Great post! I love Bill Peet!

  10. It's so great you remember the actual book that started you on reading, and that you remember a librarian recommended it. Now I want to go check out Bill Peet books...


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