Billy and Old Smoko
Subject: NZ Junior Fiction
Billy wakes to find his father all lackadaisical, and a strange woman burning the porridge. She reckons his real mother ran away, and he must call her Mum now. But Billy isn't stupid. With Old Smoko, a stately, talking horse whom he teaches to read, Billy looks for his real mum under the Kaimais, out the back of Waharoa.
He learns the secret of Mount Te Aroha, hears the ancient Maori story of Snow White, and sees how Auckland got its electricity. He also goes pig hunting, plays footy, discovers roast pork and apple sauce sandwiches – and falls in love with the blue eyes of Harrietta.
Billy and Old Smoko is a book for reading – and laughing – aloud to all children, even those who never had to tuck their mums and dads into bed.
‘…this book will easily become a family favourite.’ - Booknotes, 2008