Review Blog

May 26 2015

Bogtrotter by Margaret Wild

cover image

Ill. by Judith Rossell. Walker Books, 2015. ISBN 9781921977558
(Age: Junior primary) Loneliness, Change, Horizons. Bogtrotter does the same thing every day. He wakes, runs over, around and up and down the bog all day then goes back to his cave. The next day is the same and the one after that. Sometimes he feels lonely and sometimes he wishes for change, but he still does the same thing everyday. One day he meets a frog who asks him why he does this, and this impels Bogtrotter to pick a flower. This small event initiates a change in his behaviour. The next day he talks to a family of muskrats, the next day he swings from a tree, and after that he picks enough flowers to make a chain. He does a variety of different things he has not done before, but still feels lonely. Frog passes by and suggests that he might try outside the bog, and with that, Bogtrotter takes off and goes off into a whole new world outside his bog. The last page will draw suggestions from the children about what the Bogtrotter finds over the wall, and perhaps suggest new things they could do as well.
This is a charming, gentle story about change and trying something different, about taking a risk, about doing something unfamiliar. The beautiful gentle watercolours suit the story admirably, softening the edges of Bogtrotter and his world, the bog. The Bogtrotter's environment is charmingly displayed. Children will not help but see the implications in this story about trying something new, and be impelled themselves to add something new to their day.
Fran Knight

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