Billy Tartle in Say Cheese!

How can Billy Tartle make his class picture super-cool? How about a cool haircut—a Mohawk with big spikes! And it must be bright-bright yellow, no pink, no green—well some kinda cool color! Billy's mom just wants him to get a regular old haircut, look handsome, and smile nice—sooo bo-ring! Will Billy be able to outwit her and kindly Barber Ken?

Of course!

A familiar childhood ritual is given a fresh, nutty spin in this tale of how kids want things to be fun and parents want things to be normal. But everybody will smile when Billy Tartle gets into the picture!

Michael Townsend, a recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts, makes his debut with this fun, loopy story. He lives in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.

Reviews from

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By Elena (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · April 18, 2012
Billy Tartle in Say Cheese is written for a kid in 2nd or 3rd grade of either gender. All kids want to be different and mischievous just like Billy is throughout the book. When picture day comes around, he does everything in his power to show up with a Mohawk that is not a normal hair color. His... ...more
By Janice (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · December 10, 2009
K-3 Read aloud/independent reading

Townsend has created a great character in Billy Tartle. The pages are done in a comic book style with the illustrations in black pen and ink and digital coloring. Billy is tired of the same school picture every year and comes up with a way to make it stand out. C... ...more
By Jen (Salem, MA) · ★★★★☆ · March 01, 2013
I did a Dr. Seuss story time today and honestly, there's only so many Dr. Seuss books you can read in a row. So I had the kids each go pick something out for me to read, always a scary proposition.

This one was chosen, and it's in comic book style, so it was a little harder to do aloud than a stra... ...more
By Alia (Philadelphia, PA) · ★★☆☆☆ · November 30, 2007
Really almost more of a comic than a picture book. The art is great but I have to admit that from a grow-up perspective Billy is way more ADD obnoxious than impishly cute. ...more
By Christi (The United States) · ★★★★★ · September 22, 2011
A fun kids graphic novel about a stinker of a boy who wants his class picture to be unusual. The illustrations are engaging and fun. ...more
By Erica (Youngstown, OH) · ★★★☆☆ · October 16, 2013
I would have to say this book was very neat it felt like I was reading the comic section out of a newspaper. ...more
By Jess (The United States) · ★★★☆☆ · April 17, 2008
colorful illustrations, simplistic storyline, visually well organized ...more
By Elizabeth (Lindon, UT) · ★★★★☆ · January 14, 2010
comic book, funny. About how a boy ruins picture day! ...more
By Crystal (The United States) · ★★★★★ · December 27, 2007
Hilarious. And I love the art style. ...more
By Jean-Marie (Fort Lauderdale, FL) · ★★★★☆ · July 18, 2012
Hysterical! ...more