Book Jacket

 

rank 221
word count 18489
date submitted 17.10.2010
date updated 27.07.2011
genres: Fantasy, Children's, Young Adult
classification: universal
complete

THE ADVENTURES OF BILLY BUTLER - Billy the Astronaut

David Goodenough

Billy dreams he went to Mars and met a magical Queen of Mars. He discovers interesting and entertaining creatures with many surprises in the story.

 

Billy enters a parade bicycle-decorating contest with a spaceship-to-Mars theme. That night when he falls asleep he envisions he was picked to go to Mars in place of an astronaut . . . but via his bike! Once there, he meets a beautiful young queen who gives him a magical talking hat that becomes his companion on journeys. He visits a zoo that has strange and wonderfully-entertaining creatures. Upon returning to see the queen, she magically transforms the hat into a very unique spaceship to get Billy home.

Back home, Billy wakes up and thinks his trip to Mars was just a dream. Billy wins the bicycle-decorating contest and is given the honor of being the king of the parade. When he meets the queen of the parade, she looks identical to the Queen of Mars. He now wonders whether his dream was real!

Except for the first chapter of the book, each chapter ends with a surprise cliff hanger. The final surprising line in this enticing children’s book leaves the reader wondering whether Billy’s dream was real, too!

 
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tags

adventure, creative, delightful, entertaining, fun, fun to read, imaginative, interesting, magic, magical, page turner

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123 comments

 

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Dutch Boy wrote 1024 days ago

Congratulations on getting this published! It's about time somebody recognized a very good children's book, and this certainly is one of the best in a long time. Enjoyable even for adults to read to their young ones.
Best of luck, and I hope it becomes a blockbuster!

Dr. Ben wrote 1032 days ago

I just read this to my youngest grandson. He absolutely loved it so much, now he wants to be an astronaut!

Seriously, your writing style is very visual and the refreshing lessons learned along the way are a wonderful way for children to learn how to grow up properly.

Thanks for a wonderfully entertaining story.

Tom Bye wrote 1238 days ago

HI DAVID ' THE ADVENTURES OF BILLY BUTLER- BILLY THE ASTRONAUT'

Dublin calling Billy, are you back from Mars yet. yes, after reading the first six chapter of the wonderful and delightful book i'm feeling young again. this in my opinion is one of the top children's reads on this site,.
even the pitch is so well written. as it lays out the content, and the intrigue, maybe Billy's dream is real?
oh, not forgetting the cover, it will walk off the racks in the book stores when published.
~the dialogue between Billy and his father is priceless and oh so real, making it right from the off a perfect children's read. It's a very original story and so creative and a page turner to boot, found myself at the end of chapter 5 in no time and read next chapter because i had to find out what was next
backed with pleasure 6 stars and worth every golden one of them

TOM BYE ' FROM HUGS TO KISSES'

keithw wrote 1258 days ago

I read your book to two of my grandkids, with the laptop on my lap and one of the kids on each knee. They wouldn't let me stop to go to the bathroom! Obviously they were enthralled. When I finished, they wanted me to read more, but there was no more! That's a sly ending, David, and I think you better start working on the sequel - if you haven't already. I'll be looking for it, and so will the little ones. Fine job, and glad I backed it. Good luck to you.

Keith

Benjamin Dancer wrote 1263 days ago

I read ch 6 about a month ago. Such a great story. Then read a bunch of it to my son—until he fell asleep.

Here are my notes on ch 10:

The magical hat is such a nice touch. I know no child is going to explore the metaphor like I do—but I like what the metaphor says about imagination, choice, thinking, etc. So perfect for my kids.

And when the hat starts to talk, I feel even more grateful. What a great story.

I thought the italics perfect to structure the conversation.

The mischief of the hat reminded me of George MacDonald's guides and mentors.

All the way to Mars, and he goes to the zoo. Couldn’t be more perfect!

?—do we need a physical transition from the ship’s arrival at the zoo to Billy ringing the bell?

I love what Billy learns in this story. How he has to grow and interact with the world. Be direct, etc. The zoo keeper says no, etc. Children need help sorting this stuff out. And the story is the perfect help.

I really wish you success with this story!

Seringapatam wrote 395 days ago

David, Never mind the kids wanting to be an astronaut, I want to be one. This is excellent writing and although a lot of people think it should be easy to write a kids book it is not the case and it is so so difficult. I admire your skill. Well done with this. Characters are superb, the premise is great, the narrative is spot on and the flow is so suited to not only this genre but also to this book. I cant fault it and loved it from the word go. I will be scoring it very high and I will be hoping that a number of readers will be doing the same.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you?? Many thanks. Sean

Crusin' Cathy wrote 999 days ago

This is a really, really cute story. I know it is meant more for kids, but I love the escapism. Glad I saw this - the cover intrigues me.

Teen Bookworm wrote 1022 days ago

I think this is the most fun book I have ever read. I will read it again soon.

stretch wrote 1023 days ago

My ten year old just finished reading your book. He enjoyed it very much. It was imaginative and the hooks at the end of the chapters kept him going until past his bedtime, but he was so close to finishing it, I let him read the last three chapters to me out loud. Then he asked for a glass of milk before bed and said he hoped he had a good dream like Billy's dream. Or was it a dream?

chipmonk wrote 1023 days ago

Glad to see you're moving up in the rankings. You've got a real winner on your hands. Congrats.

acgal wrote 1024 days ago

I just finished reading this book to my grandson. We both loved this story. The characters are very imaginative and described so well that they easily come to life. The chapters end with suspense, making you turn the page to see what happens next. It was a lot of fun reading this story. Thanks for sharing.

Dutch Boy wrote 1024 days ago

Congratulations on getting this published! It's about time somebody recognized a very good children's book, and this certainly is one of the best in a long time. Enjoyable even for adults to read to their young ones.
Best of luck, and I hope it becomes a blockbuster!

Texas John wrote 1026 days ago

Just read this to my nephew. Actually, we read it together. Couldn't have been a more fun adventure! Very imaginative. The ending is quite a tease. I assume a sequel is in the works.
Highly recommended to anyone who likes an out-of-this-world adventure. Six Stars - Ten if I had the option.

Dr. Ben wrote 1032 days ago

I just read this to my youngest grandson. He absolutely loved it so much, now he wants to be an astronaut!

Seriously, your writing style is very visual and the refreshing lessons learned along the way are a wonderful way for children to learn how to grow up properly.

Thanks for a wonderfully entertaining story.

Bruceco wrote 1160 days ago

I heard through the grapevine that this was an excellent children's book to read to my kids. I think the first two chapters need to be shortened slightly, but after that, it's one exciting ride!

Shawn Hendricks wrote 1176 days ago

You use some unnecessary words and phrases. Try parsing to "Seventeen hours and counting."

"his town's exciting event" feels awkward.

Cut "going to ride" to 'riding'. "final touches [on]" again feels unnatural.

I quickly became disinterested in the story versus lost in it.

Read the story aloud and mark the places where you stumble. Do the exact same exercise with the best speaker you know.

Good luck with the book. I am adding it to my watch list.

Kim D wrote 1178 days ago

David
I thought this story was great fun and well written. I loved the magic hat! The book is suitable for 5 - 8 year old readers and, therefore, needs great pace, lots of hooks and dramatic tension to keep the young child engaged with the story. I liked how you ended your scenes, but i thought the first two chapters needed to be condensed and that, generally, there was not enough tension. You need to put great big boulders in Billy's way rather than stones. I think the line of action and counter-action needs to be much clearer. If the book is about Billy being ready for the big parade, then everything that happens to him on Mars needs to help or hinder him in this process. Also, you might want to look at the length of some of your sentences for new readers (for example, Ch 2. The paragraph starts with, 'When Billy returned with..."
But good work. There's lots to like about this story.
I really hope my feedback is useful. Please will you look at my story for 7 - 9 year olds if you get the chance.
With best wishes
Kim
St Viper's School for Super Villains.

Grow Faith wrote 1178 days ago

What a picture-perfect story! The writing style is excellent, allowing me to clearly visualize the Martians and the zoo creatures. I love the idea of a chocolate glass space ship. The whole story erupts with imagination and clever chapter endings. Well done. Backed and six stars. I will tell my friends about this one.

Dr. Ben wrote 1179 days ago

I just read this story to my five year old granddaughter and she absolutely loved it. I had fun reading it again, as I had read it to my grandson a couple of months ago. Very entertaining, and I'm hoping a sequel is on its way.

Dr. Ben

Nanty wrote 1188 days ago

The Adventures of Billy Butler - Billy the Astronaut:
The writing is very fluid and easy for a younger reader to understand. The length of chapters are excellent as they have lots going on in them to hold a young reader's interest. Boys, I'm sure, would love descriptions of Billy building his space-bike and materials used for it. A good lesson in grammar from 'Mom' regarding the use of 'can' and 'may'. Humour in chapter three would amuse an adult reading to a child. Trials and tribulations before take off are fun and Billy finally reaching Mars, an achievment.
Billy and his family are very likable and dialogue between them is realistic.

Nanty - Chrys!

Tom Bye wrote 1194 days ago

Hi David , 'The Adventures of Billy Butler ----
Having read more of this rollicking adventure story i have no hesitation in giving it six stars, it is well deserved.
and i hope to see it climbing the ranks in the near future.
good luck
tom bye ' from hugs to kisses'

lucy.leid wrote 1197 days ago

I like the simplicity of your writing. Don't get me wrong - it's written very well. I mean simplicity in words, like the way a child would think. And that's a great touch. A lot of the time writer's forget themselves and impose onto their child characters voices that are either cliche or too adult, so the simplicity is a really nice and heart-warming touch. Very cute. I can see some hints of the Little Prince here and there, but an original story. Rated and backed.

Julian T. wrote 1197 days ago

I saw on the blog site that this was an exceptional children's story. I read it to my kids last night and they were mesmerized by the story! THIS IS AN EXCELLENT RECOMMENDATION!

What I personally liked best was the respect Billy had for his parents as well as the martians. It sets a perfect example for children besides providing an enticing tale. Good job and backed for sure. 6 stars to boot!

Julian

Robert S. wrote 1197 days ago

Amazing children's story. I read it to my 8 year old - he loved it.

Prima Donna wrote 1199 days ago

This is definitely a magical story! I love the way it starts out with the interaction with Billy's family. Then on to a wonderfully elaborate dream - or was it?

This is a fantastic story - fun for all ages. The book cover is perfect, and the humour of the talking hat had me giggling several times. Perfectly set up for a sequel as well. 6 stars and well-deserved.

Kristin Roslund, NTP wrote 1199 days ago

David,
I can't wait to read your book to my daughter tomorrow night. It started to suck me in, but I put on the brakes and decided to experience it with the eyes and ears of a nine year old. I've got you on the watch list until I am sure we will place it on on the shelf. I hope it gets it published so I can read it to my students!
Thanks for backing Sick American.

G-MA wrote 1203 days ago

Imaginative fun book my grandsons will love this.The sound morals &respect shown through the book makes it a good bedtime or reading time book for younger children who are not able to read it yet.

Blaster wrote 1225 days ago

I really like this book. It was a a lot of fun to read. I hope you write another one.

SamanthaV wrote 1226 days ago

I think the idea is adorable, but the writing needs to be a little tighter. I'm not sure how I feel about the "voice" of the narrator, however, the dialogue works for me. This, I feel, would not cross over into young adult, as it reads rather young. I've put it on my watchlist and I'll be back to read more.

Dutch Boy wrote 1231 days ago

This is not my cup of tea. However, since it was the only book that was not being edited in the top five, I took a look - only because of the intriguing cover. I thought I'd look at just one chapter and not even comment. But the story looked interesting enough to continue. Here are my comments:

This story, even though written for young adults, was quite entertaining. It looks to me like the author listened to some earlier criticism and corrected whatever mistakes might have been there. I don't see any errors in punctuation or grammar. I think the story flows quite well and is most definitely extremely creative. I can see where just the cover alone would sell a million books, let alone the actual story itself. The content is something children can relate to in terms of conversing with parents in a loving way, and the support of the parents is an endearing part of the story.

When it comes to interacting with the ambassador and the queen of Mars, it shows through the character's dialogue that he has been brought up with respect for others and a true sense of self-awareness of his place in a totally different social environment. His interaction with the magical inanimate objects is a quite creative and totally refreshing metaphor, revealing the subconcious of his upbringing. Any parent would love to read this story to his/her child/children.

That being said, and to my surprise in this unexpectedly, thoroughly enjoying tale, I must unhesitantly back this book and give it a full six stars. Bravo, Mr. Goodenough (if that is your REAL name!) and I unashamedly wish you a world of success. You have a winner here, and shame on authonomy if your book is not published! It is a book for all ages.

Judy Blue Eyes wrote 1231 days ago

This is a very cute, lovable children's book. The suspense at the end of each chapter makes this a page-turner. It is well-wrtten and certainly deserves a spot on my bookshelf.

Kaimaparamban wrote 1233 days ago

Your novel is keeping a standard as of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. If Swift was running across this globe, you are running across our neighboring planet Mars. Gulliver saw several astonishing characters. Likewise your hero also giving so many narrations about strange creatures in that planet. Certainly it will be increasing curiosity and anxiety of readers.

Joy J. Kaimaparamban
The Wildfire

Pinball Wizard wrote 1235 days ago

This is a superb story! I can't remember reading a young adult's book that is as imaginative as this, while at the same time incorporating such good values such as family love and respect, coupled with courtesy to strangers, willingness to listen and learn from mistakes, and diligence in pursuing a set goal. Your book has it all.

I must assume this book will be published, and I look forward to purchasing some copies to send out as birthday or holiday gifts.

The very best of luck to you, and thanks for writing such a creative story. It was a very enjoyable read.

Texas John wrote 1237 days ago

David -

Y'all have quite an imagination! I stumbled on your book by accident, but I'm glad I did. The cover intrigued me, so I had to take a peak. I enjoyed the interaction between Billy and his dad - it reminded me of some of the things my boy and I did a couple years back. But the fun really started when Billy landed on Mars and met up with the queen. The magical hat was hysterical, especially when correcting Billy's questions. Then BIKE took over in the spaceship, and I was laughing out loud at his impressions. Darned good read - darned good.

I hope this book gets published. I know a lot of folks that would probably buy it to read to their kids. Backed and fully starred. Very best of luck. Hope you write a sequel.

John

Lynne Ellison wrote 1237 days ago

A very amusing young children's story, with some good insights into workings of language and life; reminsicent of The Phantom Tollbooth. Some bits of it are rather incredible, especially when Billy flies to Mars on his bike; but I suppose anything can happen in a dream.

Dave Goodenough wrote 1238 days ago

Thanks very much for giving my story a close eye! As it turns out, this week I received all the corrections I need to make from a friend who is a professional proof reader. There are a number of corrections, including the ones in your comments. I'm hoping to get those correctons done this weekend. Since this was my first attempt at writing a story, I'm not at all surprised that a lot of corrections would be needed! But I had fun writing it, and I very much appreciate the help and the kind words you offered. Dave

"The astronaut HAD just returned to Earth after"--- The action of returning began and ended in the distant past and therefore past perfect is required.

"During the week, Billy HAD polished---" Began and ended in the distant past. Past perfect is required.

"He HAD cleaned and waxed---"

IMO, this has paragraphing problems. As a general rule, it's a good idea to put each line of dialogue in its own separate paragraph, particularly for children's books. It makes it easier to understand.

But at the same time, the author clearly has what it takes to write for small children. The above-mentioned errors were all I could find. The author set up the milieu very well and ended the chapter with a hook to draw the reader in further. Everything's connected. The paragraphs flow into each other. I've seen so much "children's writing" that didn't hit the mark. This clearly hits the mark.

But the author needs to work a bit on the fine detail of writing.

JeffCorkern wrote 1238 days ago

"The astronaut HAD just returned to Earth after"--- The action of returning began and ended in the distant past and therefore past perfect is required.

"During the week, Billy HAD polished---" Began and ended in the distant past. Past perfect is required.

"He HAD cleaned and waxed---"

IMO, this has paragraphing problems. As a general rule, it's a good idea to put each line of dialogue in its own separate paragraph, particularly for children's books. It makes it easier to understand.

But at the same time, the author clearly has what it takes to write for small children. The above-mentioned errors were all I could find. The author set up the milieu very well and ended the chapter with a hook to draw the reader in further. Everything's connected. The paragraphs flow into each other. I've seen so much "children's writing" that didn't hit the mark. This clearly hits the mark.

But the author needs to work a bit on the fine detail of writing.

Dave Goodenough wrote 1238 days ago

Thanks very much for the very nice compliments. Truly appreciated!

Dave

HI DAVID ' THE ADVENTURES OF BILLY BUTLER- BILLY THE ASTRONAUT'

Dublin calling Billy, are you back from Mars yet. yes, after reading the first six chapter of the wonderful and delightful book i'm feeling young again. this in my opinion is one of the top children's reads on this site,.
even the pitch is so well written. as it lays out the content, and the intrigue, maybe Billy's dream is real?
oh, not forgetting the cover, it will walk off the racks in the book stores when published.
~the dialogue between Billy and his father is priceless and oh so real, making it right from the off a perfect children's read. It's a very original story and so creative and a page turner to boot, found myself at the end of chapter 5 in no time and read next chapter because i had to find out what was next
backed with pleasure 6 stars and worth every golden one of them

TOM BYE ' FROM HUGS TO KISSES'

Tom Bye wrote 1238 days ago

HI DAVID ' THE ADVENTURES OF BILLY BUTLER- BILLY THE ASTRONAUT'

Dublin calling Billy, are you back from Mars yet. yes, after reading the first six chapter of the wonderful and delightful book i'm feeling young again. this in my opinion is one of the top children's reads on this site,.
even the pitch is so well written. as it lays out the content, and the intrigue, maybe Billy's dream is real?
oh, not forgetting the cover, it will walk off the racks in the book stores when published.
~the dialogue between Billy and his father is priceless and oh so real, making it right from the off a perfect children's read. It's a very original story and so creative and a page turner to boot, found myself at the end of chapter 5 in no time and read next chapter because i had to find out what was next
backed with pleasure 6 stars and worth every golden one of them

TOM BYE ' FROM HUGS TO KISSES'

Dr. Ben wrote 1239 days ago

This is such an original, fascinating story. I was very happy to back it after the first three chapters. Now I finished reading to the end, and each chapter kept getting better and better. I thought the ending was excellent, where everything came together in a logical, yet very creative way. I like the idea that this story could continue, or a sequel of some sort with the hat or bike character involved.

Good writing style, Mr. Goodenough. I look forward to hearing more from you. Good luck!

SusieGulick wrote 1239 days ago

How totally amazing you are, Andrew!! :) Thank you so very much for again backing my memoirs/testimony book? :) God bless you. :) Love, Susie :) p.s. I just looked to see if I had ******-ed your book & it is ******-rated (6 gold ******'s) :) - could you please ****** mine, too. :) Every ****** -ing & backing moves our books closer to the editor's desk :) I want to ask you if you could please keep my book on your bookshelf as long as possible because I'm 7 from the editor's desk & trying to be in the top 5 to be chosen, the end of December :) - I had a mini-stroke Nov. 10 with slurred speech for an hour & numbness of tongue still & over 20 smaller ones where I couldn't speak since & I"d sure like to cross the finish line of the editor's desk after 9 months trying on authonomy. :) Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me :) - I have lost 3 sisters to strokes & my last sister, Mary had 2 heart attacks earlier this year.

school girl wrote 1240 days ago

This is a wonderful story! I loved reading it all the way through. Your cliffhanger endings in each chapter are very clever. The plot is quite unique. I will have fun reading this to my little boy when he is old enough. I'll buy this book. Backed and rated 6 stars.

Kristi
The Otter and the Octopus (unfinished)

nsllee wrote 1250 days ago

Hi David

This is a nice simple story, told well, that will certainly appeal to its audience. It's unpretentious and really sees the world through a child's eyes. Backed (you'll see it in couple of days)

Nicole
Chosen

B A Morton wrote 1258 days ago

Read the first three chapters to a seven year old and he gave it the thumbs up, what seven year old wouldn't want to go to Mars? next three chapters for another night...wouldn't want to spoil him. Backed and rated, good luck with this.

fody wrote 1258 days ago

Go David! Thank you for the light, fun story. I wish you the best with this children's treat

keithw wrote 1258 days ago

I read your book to two of my grandkids, with the laptop on my lap and one of the kids on each knee. They wouldn't let me stop to go to the bathroom! Obviously they were enthralled. When I finished, they wanted me to read more, but there was no more! That's a sly ending, David, and I think you better start working on the sequel - if you haven't already. I'll be looking for it, and so will the little ones. Fine job, and glad I backed it. Good luck to you.

Keith

Jennie Lyne Hiott wrote 1259 days ago

I can already tell that this is going to be a sweet story. But, after all, it is a children's story. So I am going to read this to my kids and let them be the judge.

fh wrote 1259 days ago

THE ADVENTURES OF BILLY BUTLER
I remember when this first came on line here and wrote a short comment then. I thought this was a delightful read and took me straight back to childhood.
You have the most amazing imagination and I can't think of any child I knowwho wouldn't love a copy of this great, fun book.
Very happy to back this once more.
Faith
THE ASSASSINS VILLAGE

B A Morton wrote 1259 days ago

Hi David
My 7yr old grandson is coming to stay and I'm going to read this to him, he would definately be up for a trip to Mars. This is super stuff I can just imagine the illustrations...
Good luck

Babs
Mrs Jones

Benjamin Dancer wrote 1263 days ago

I read ch 6 about a month ago. Such a great story. Then read a bunch of it to my son—until he fell asleep.

Here are my notes on ch 10:

The magical hat is such a nice touch. I know no child is going to explore the metaphor like I do—but I like what the metaphor says about imagination, choice, thinking, etc. So perfect for my kids.

And when the hat starts to talk, I feel even more grateful. What a great story.

I thought the italics perfect to structure the conversation.

The mischief of the hat reminded me of George MacDonald's guides and mentors.

All the way to Mars, and he goes to the zoo. Couldn’t be more perfect!

?—do we need a physical transition from the ship’s arrival at the zoo to Billy ringing the bell?

I love what Billy learns in this story. How he has to grow and interact with the world. Be direct, etc. The zoo keeper says no, etc. Children need help sorting this stuff out. And the story is the perfect help.

I really wish you success with this story!

Claude Nougat wrote 1264 days ago

I love this book, a charming style - I've made comments on it twice already and it doesn't seem to get published...Don't know why the system doesn't work because I wanted to tell you I back it!
Claude
Strings of Madness

PS It finally got published...3 times!!!!

Claude Nougat wrote 1264 days ago

I love this book, a charming style - I've made comments on it twice already and it doesn't seem to get published...Don't know why the system doesn't work because I wanted to tell you I back it!
Claude
Strings of Madness

Claude Nougat wrote 1264 days ago

I love the plot idea and it is charmingly written - very fresh! You're on my WL!
Claude
Strings of Madness

bozman1947 wrote 1264 days ago

David - You have a great story here. Well-written and quite creative. As an adult, I thought I would just take a look to see why other adults were praising your book, since it is meant for young adults. I found myself engrossed in the story, and wound up reading it all the way to the end. It's a great fantasy adventure for any age group. You may want to consider adding adult as a category!

Thanks so much for a great story. I hope you are already working on a sequel. This will stay on my bookshelf for quite a while. Backed for sure!

Steeler Fan wrote 1264 days ago

Love your book! A wonderful story full of fresh fantasy. Backed with pleasure.

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