5. Burglar Bill

Activity 1:

Describing our ‘lovable rogue’

Allan Ahlberg’s story isn’t to be taken too seriously, his burglar is a jokey cartoon character, and doesn’t live in the real world.



But we know that stealing is wrong and that it can make people very unhappy if they are robbed.

Adjectives we might use to describe a real-life burglar might be:


devious, desperate, cunning, selfish, horrible, mean, dangerous, cruel


But we wouldn’t use these words to describe the imaginary Burglar Bill.



Recently some of us used an online thesaurus to find extra interesting words. If you want to use it again follow this link to www.thesaurus.com


Print the worksheet or draw a picture of Bill and Betty and write the adjectives you think best describe them.


Activity 2:

Write a letter to say sorry

Burglar Bill decides to lead an honest life and wants to write to apologise to all the people he has stolen from.


Imagine you are Bill wanting to say sorry and describe the good things you are going to start doing.






Activity 3:

Blending in

Burglar bill wears a very stylish striped shirt, flat cap, and mask.


Do you think Burglar Bill's outfit help him to hide at night?

What would be the best colour outfit for him to wear?






To investigate this, you will need a dark place to test your ideas.

Test different colours - cut out jumper shapes in all black, black and white stripes, different colours...


  • Which is most easily seen?
  • Was Burglar Bill’s outfit a good one to wear at night? Why?
  • What would be a better colour to wear?
  • What if he wanted to be seen?

Activity 4:

Map Making

Use Google Maps to find the Cardiff Central Police Station.



Click and drag the little yellow man and drop him on the road next to the police station. Click here if you can’t manage this on your device.



Explore the area by moving your mouse around.



Look at the illustration showing Betty and Bill walking through the streets. Use this to help you draw a ‘map’ of Burglar Bill and Burglar Betty’s route round the town.


Use the book’s illustrations to show Burglar Bill’s home, the police station, the bakery, the park and all the places where stolen goods were returned.


On your map, draw the route that Burglar Bill and Burglar Betty took to return all the stolen items.