Guess what! Stitching for Literacy has two children’s book professionals guest-blogging during the 2010 Bookmark Challenge. They’ve chosen some of their favorite books to share with us.
Written by Jeanne Willis
Illustrated by Gwen Millward
The metaphorically magical experience of childhood exploration and discovery is literally infused with magic when two tomboy sisters secretly head out to the “magic pond” (it only appears in Spring) looking for newts, and discover a bog baby instead. They’re enchanted with their bog baby, and it seems enchanted with them. They take it home, only to find that, love each other as they might, the bog baby begins to waste away out of its natural environment.
The Bog Baby is an enchanting, sweet story, perfect for sharing, with themes of mothers’ and daughters’ shared experiences, childhood secret-keeping and the guilt that can go along with it, the consequences of one’s actions, and all the wonder and joy, worry and anxiety of childhood, and lessons learned on the way to growing up. The subtle message of leaving things where they belong, accepting the nature of a thing (or even a person) even as we cherish it, never detracts from the pure joy of getting lost in the story. Willis’s text and Millward’s illustrations felicitously combine to create one of the best picture books of the past year. A treasure.
Barb Weber has been a fan of children’s books all her life (she still has her copy of her favorite Golden Book, The Little Yellow Taxi, torn page and all, and it still chokes her up), and has been a children’s bookseller for over ten years. She likes nothing better than to share her enthusiasm and bring terrific books to people’s attention. And her sister-in-law, Jen, is finally making her do something about it for a wider audience.