Review Blog

Nov 18 2014

Bubbay: a Christmas Adventure by Josie Wowolla Boyle and Fern Martins

cover image

Magabala, 2012. ISBN: 9781921248726
Highly recommended for Lower/Middle Primary children. With themes about loneliness/friendship/hope and Christmas, this is a timely book for this time of the year. Bush magic is always special and when it comes at Christmas time, it's even more special.
Bubbay is a little boy who lives alone in the desert, looking after his herd of goats. The only human with whom he has contact is Mrs Timms. He swaps goat's milk for eggs and while he is generally happy in his own company there are times when he does get lonely so he always enjoys his visits with Mrs Timms. This Christmas Eve is different though. Bubbay feels sad when he thinks about everyone else getting ready for festive celebrations in their homes and suddenly, more than anything, he wishes he had a Christmas tree, presents, a home and a family. Imagine his surprise when a streak of shimmering light swoops down from the sky before him and a little Christmas tree appears. Even more surprising is that the tree talks to him! It tells him that if he can find five very special items for decorations on its branches, he will have a very special Christmas! A stone, a feather, an egg and a seed might not be too difficult to fin but a shell? In the desert? How will he ever manage such a task?
Suddenly, the glow of his own little fire reveals old grandmother Gubarlee appearing to the sound of tapsticks and singing. Throughout the rest of the magical Christmas Eve Gubarlee guides Bubbay to find each of the special decorations and they finish just in time for sunrise. As the desert dawn floods the landscape with light, Bubbay sees Mrs Timms approaching, her arms wide open, inviting him to come and be her own little boy.
Truly this is a very special Christmas for both these characters, finding comfort, company and love in each other's presence. A lovely and gentle tale about reaching out to others in the real and the spiritual worlds, lavishly illustrated with vibrant colours depicting the desert and it's animal inhabitants.
Teaching notes can be found here
Sue Warren

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