KidLit & Minecraft Review: Billy and Blaze


Last Sunday I mentioned that Minecraft is very popular in our house lately. SKrafty is the kid-friendly/homeschool server we joined. After we explored a bit and got the hang of things, I signed up C for a science class and a literature class, both geared toward younger kids (C is 5½). We started the Young Literature Classics 1 self-paced class, which will cover six children’s classics, one per week if we stay on schedule. I thought it would be fun to highlight them here on the blog as we finish each one, especially since five (!!) of the six books are new to me.

This week’s book was Billy and Blaze, originally published in 1936, written and carefully illustrated by C.W. Anderson. Young Billy receives a pony, who he names Blaze, as a birthday gift. They get to know each other, learn to ride and jump together, and eventually end up competing in a horse show. The language is simple without losing its beauty, and the pencil illustrations are just exquisite. We were turning the pages very slowly; we both wanted to look a little longer at each of these drawings. See how realistic they are?

It turns out this is the first in a series of eleven books, but it can definitely stand alone — there is no cliffhanger, no sense that the story continues. I’m sure we’ll be looking for the other titles, though, because we both loved this book.

Throughout the week on Minecraft, C built a horse stable and a jump course. The most fun was riding a horse and actually playing the course when it was finished. She had a blast with that!


Our next book will be Tikki Tikki Tembo, retold by Arlene Mosel. Stay tuned!