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Home » Books » Children's » Fiction » General

The Bog Baby

By Jeanne Willis, Gwen Millward (Illustrated by)

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Format: Paperback, 32 pages
Other Information: chiefly col. Illustrations
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 May 2008
The Bog Baby is a magical story by Jeanne Willis and Gwen MillwardWhen two small sisters go fishing to the magic pond, they find something much a frog or a newt. They find a bog baby. Small and blue with wings like a dragon, the girls decide to make him their secret. I won't tell if you won't.But the bog baby is a wild thing, and when he becomes poorly, the girls decide they must tell their mum. And she tells them the greatest lesson: if you really love something, you have to let it go.Jeanne wrote her first book when she was five years old and hasn't stopped writing since. She has now written over eighty titles, including picture books, novels and television scripts. She has also won numerous awards, including the Children's Book Award, the Sheffield Children's Book Award and the Silver Smarties Prize. Her teen novel, Naked Without a Hat, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award in 2004. She often takes inspiration from dreams and interesting conversations with strangers. Gwen Millward studied illustration in Edinburgh and now spends all of her time painting and writing stories for children about her favourite subject, beasts. Her first book for Puffin, Guess What I Found in Dragon Wood, published in April 2007.Other wonderful books by either of the two include:The King of Tiny Things; Guess what I found in Dragon Wood; Happy Birthday in Dragon Wood; Sing a Song of Bottoms; Bottoms Up!; Silly Cecil and Clever Cubs; The Wheels on the Bus; Delilah Darling is in the Library; There's an Ouch in my Pouch!; Who's in the Loo?; The Monster Bed; Tadpole's Promise; The Beasties

About the Author

Jeanne wrote her first book when she was five years old and hasn't stopped writing since. She has now written over eighty titles, including picture books, novels and television scripts. She has also won numerous awards, including the Children's Book Award, the Sheffield Children's Book Award and the Silver Smarties Prize. Her teen novel, Naked Without a Hat, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award in 2004. She often takes inspiration from dreams and interesting conversations with strangers. Gwen Millward studied illustration in Edinburgh and now spends all of her time painting and writing stories for children about her favourite subject, beasts. Her first book for Puffin, Guess What I Found in Dragon Wood, published in April 2007.

Reviews

PreS-Gr 3-The narrator, now a mother herself, tells about an event in her childhood. She and her sister break a rule and get caught in a lie. It starts when they go fishing alone in the springtime bog and catch a bog baby. They want to share their love for their new pet with their mother, but they just can't tell her where they've been. Like budding cryptozoologists, they describe each part of the little round creature with wings "no bigger than daisy petals," and create for it a habitat, a bucket filled with shells, gravel, and water. The glorious illustrations reveal a lush dreamscape of a backyard flush with tendrils, bluebells, Queen Anne's lace, birch trees, cherry trees, dragonflies, ladybugs, and more, all delicately and minutely drawn, and painted in watercolors. The child-voiced, economical narrative transports readers into the squelches and squeaks of tromping through the mud and spring plants, and straight into heartbreak when the beloved bog baby gets sick and hides under shells. Luckily readers can venture vicariously into the twilight bog when the sisters return their pet to its natural environment, and again when the narrator's child, the next generation, joyfully discovers that their sacrifice resulted in the proliferation of this dubious species.-Sara Paulson-Yarovoy, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Bog Babies have round blue bellies and little wings "no bigger than daisy petals." The narrator, seen as a girl in a red jumper and pigtails, recounts finding one with her sister on a surreptitious visit to Bluebell Wood, "long ago, when we were little." Her confiding, reminiscent tone is one of this irresistible book's chief charms: "We said we were going to Annie's house to play," she admits, "but we didn't." After a brief period of bliss ("We sneaked him into school in a margarine tub"), the Bog Baby falls ill, and the girls' mother, who has clearly caught a Bog Baby or two in her day ("When she saw who was in the bucket, she smiled and her eyes went misty"), helps the girls bring him back to the pond where he belongs. Willis (Mammoth Pie) supplies numerous winsome details ("We fed him cake crumbs"), ever-fresh in the narrator's mind, and Millward's (Guess What I Found in Dragon Wood) dreamy, doodly pen and ink spreads are similarly fragrant with nostalgia for childhood expeditions and the sheer magic of the outdoors. Ages 3-7. (Oct.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

EAN: 9780141500300
ISBN: 0141500301
Publisher: Puffin
Dimensions: 26.1 x 21.6 x 0.5 centimetres (0.16 kg)
Age Range: 5-9 years
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This is a delightful story that your kids are sure to love and treasure. The pictures are beautiful - almost enough to make me want to cut them out and frame them (but I couldn't bear to destroy a book)! It is sure to be a favourite for your kids, and you'll enjoy it too!

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