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THE BOG BABY by Jeanne Willis Kirkus Star


by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Gwen Millward

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-375-86176-5
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Anyone who has ever tried to re-create a tide pool in a jar or displaced a wild thing only to watch it wither will understand the heartbreak of two sisters and their beloved Bog Baby in this whimsical British import. The disobedient duo catches a blue, boggly-eyed beastie on a forbidden newt-fishing trip, so they can’t tell their mom about their fantastic discovery. The sisters build him a nice bucket world of shells, gravel, clean water and cake crumbs, and all is lovely until the Bog Baby gets sick. The desperate girls blow their secret, but find a sympathetic ear in Mom, who fondly remembers Bog Babies from when she was young. Bluebell Wood, the newt-fishing site, is a breathtakingly beautiful sea of delicately rendered bluebells in what must be one of the most inviting forests ever illustrated in children’s literature. Narrated in the personable voice of one of the sisters all grown up, this happy-ending story asks readers to consider not only the importance of leaving wild things wild but the possibility of magic. (Bog Baby field note form) (Picture book. 4-7)