The Bog Baby
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The Bog Baby

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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  219 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Do you believe in Bog Babies?
If you don’t, you will!


When two small sisters go fishing in a magic pond, they find something much better than a frog or a newt. They find a Bog Baby. Small and blue, with wings like a dragon, the girls decide to take him home with them and keep him a secret.

But the Bog Baby is a wild thing, and when he gets sick, the girls turn to their mother...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Schwartz & Wade (first published May 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

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Lisa Vegan
Apr 14, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids who can believe in magic; kids who love nature; sisters; to educate about wild animals
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A.
I felt skeptical that I’d like this book but my Goodreads’ friends Kathryn, Ann, Jackie, and Abigail all rated it highly, so I thought I’d give it a try.

This book is utterly charming in every way.

I absolutely adore the last page, where young readers are encouraged to make notes about any bog baby they might find and are informed that bog babies are extremely rare and how if the reader finds one, how it would be helpful to send information to S.O.B.B. (Save Our Bog Babies). There is a real addres...more
Kathryn
Mar 28, 2011 Kathryn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kathryn by: Abigail A.
My friend Abigail recommended this book to "Anyone Who Believes in the Possibility of Enchantment!" so I knew that I had to get this book and it completely enchanted me ;-) It had been some time since I heard about the book (my library took ages to obtain it) so I didn't remember what the book was about (besides, obviously, the very adorable and magical Bog Baby) and I think that the joy of surprise and discovery helped weave the magic around this book. So, I won't say more than that this is a b...more
Ann
Apr 14, 2011 Ann rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ann by: Abigail - thanks!
A delightful, sweet, and timeless story!
Not only does "The Bog Baby" have a wonderful message about believing in something, but it also has a wonderful message about "leaving wild things in the wild."
Yes, the "if you love it set it free" plot is nothing new, but I loved the approach Willis takes here.

In this story two little girls go fishing (even though their not supposed to go alone, which the book does make a point of noting is was not a good thing for them to do - definitely reminded me of t...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
One spring, two sisters don't go to Annie's house, like they told mom. No, they go into Bluebell Wood, to the *magic* pond that's only there in the spring to fish for newts. But they don't find any newts, they find something better!

"He was the size of a frog, only round and blue.
He had boggly eyes and a spiky tail
and I do remember he had ears like a mouse."

They take him home and make him a lovely jar full of shells and fresh water, and feed him cake crumbs. They love him and love him, but beca...more
Janessa
I just have to add this book to my list for it's magical sweetness. The plot is pretty standard: two girls find a cute little creature in the pond near their home and take it home as a pet. They love their bog baby, and dote on it, making a home for it and feeding it bits of cake. But, inevitably, their pet grows sick, and sad. It needs to return to its home.

What makes the book stand out are the ethereal illustrations. The airy washes of pink, blue, and yellow transport the reader to a place th...more
Ali Brian
I have been enjoying and sharing this book with my Year 2 class during guided reading. The story is about two small sisters who go fishing in a "magic pond". However, they catch something much better than a "frog or a newt". They find a "Bog Baby" ad decide to make him their secret.

The story tackles the issue of secrets and captured the group of children immediately. The opening sentence sets the scene with the statement "Long ago, when we were little, me and Chrissy did something bad". Pausing...more
Maureen
“Long ago, when we were little, me and Chrissy did something bad. We said we were going to Annie’s house to play, but we didn’t.” With those enticing first lines, Jeanne Willis invites readers, young and old, to turn the page of this charming tale of youthful curiosity that will evoke readers’ memories of outdoor childhood adventures. Making a promise not to divulge their deception, Chrissy and Annie venture through Bluebell Wood to a magic pond, fishing for newts, instead catching “something mu...more
Treasa
This book turned me off in the first sentence: "Long ago, when we were little, me and Chrissy did something bad." I can't stand when authors use poor grammar in children's books. Children will never learn correct grammar if they are surrounded by books with poor grammar. If the author had only said "Chrissy and I," I might have given the book another star. But really, I wasn't all that excited by the book anyway.

Two little girls tell their mother they are going to play at a friend's house, but...more
Sarah Sammis
The Bog Baby by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Gwen Millward was one of those serendipitous library finds. It had been put on display on the top of the shelves, cover out for the world to see. I had to grab it.

A pair of sisters find a bog baby on their explorations into the nearby woods. It's a little blue blobby creature with fairy wings. They decide to keep it as a pet. Being away from home doesn't agree with the bog baby and he falls ill. Eventually they have to ask for help and fortunately...more
Tricia
Very cute book. It had a good lesson about considering what happens when you take creatures out of their environment. Six year old review "100% great! I loved the pictures and it had a very nice story. You learned something and it made you think."
MissInformation
Bog Baby is cute, shy and blue; irresistable to two girls who decide to take him home from the wild bog. Bog Baby is kept in a lovely home in a bucket with mud and shells, and fed cake crumbs. The girls even sneak him to school one day- but Bog Baby is a secret from the girl's parents. When Bog Baby becomes sick, the girls finally tell their mother and ask for help.

This is a story you may have lived yourself when you were little, and one whose events will be readily recognizable to a child. The...more
Caitlin
Childrens books seem to almost swim around me at work. Lots of shapes, colors and covers pass under my fingertips magically leaving behind a little bit of love and wonder. When I checked this particular book, the illustrations grabbed my attention. I love the colors and the technique the artist used, giving very special attention to the dust (magic dust) that fluttered from the Bog baby.
The story is sweet and simple. Bog baby's cannot live anywhere but their bog and you can only find them in spe...more
Kristi
one of my favorite stories to read the kiddos, and one of theirs, too! awesome book.
Ann Anthony
I found this book on a rainy day in Nantucket at a wonderful independent bookstore. I sat down to read it and FELL in LOVE. The illustrations are amazing and the story gave me goose bumps! I can hardly wait to read it to my students. The story follows two sisters who go fishing in a magical pond that only appears in the spring! They find a bog baby and take it home...read it to teach children the concept of wild things needing to live in the wild...or "take only pictures and leave only footprint...more
Nielson
Instead of going to their friend Annie's house, Chrissy and her sister decide to sneak away to fish in the magical pond in Bluebell Wood. The only thing they end up catching is a Bog Baby with boggly eyes and a spiky tail. It is their little secret as they take him home and love and care for him until he gets sick. The only cure is that he be returned to his home. Although I didn't really care much for the story, I thought the illustrations were sensational. They certainly added a magical feel t...more
Jennifer Miera
A sweet story about two children who capture a bog baby and find out he isn't happy and doesn't thrive in their care, so they must learn to let go despite (or because of) their love for him. Reminds me of my childhood because I was so imaginative (I had a herd of flying horses who walked to school with me and an orphanage in my closet).
The illustrations are lovely. I'd love a tattoo of the that's featured on some of the pages.
Lindsey
A cute book about the mysterious Bog baby. A jelly creature with a tail and wings that look like they should belong to a dragon. Of course he is lovable and a precious pet until the fateful day when its owners have to make a choice. Beautifully illustrated and a wonderful lesson for younger grades. My three year old and five year old loved it.
Shelli
Two young girls go out exploring when they shouldn't be and discover a bog baby. They instantly fall in love with him and want to bring him home. Since they were not supposed to be out by the pond that day they have to do this in secret.
nicole
despite my tough facade, i cry at commercials, commencement speeches and picture books about having to let someone you love go, even if that someone you love is a bog baby. beautiful illustrations and a sweet story.
Bookless00
If I had seen this book as a child, I would have read it constantly. The illustrations have a floaty, fairy dust quality; just the type of thing to make you want to hide out and find your own Bog Baby.
Erin
This is one of the sweetest picture books I have seen in a long time. The illustrations are delightfully detailed and magical and it really captures the magic of nature and childhood.
paula
How does Gwen Millward manage delicate and earthy at the same time? I don't know, but I'm impressed! Great "if you love something set it free" story that is not too preachy.
Beth Chandler
Charming fairy-tale-like story. Illustrations are oddly pretty. Good for "make pretend" fans. About right as a read-to for ages 4-6 or for 7-8 year olds to read on their own.
Claire
Charmingly original, which can be hard to find in picture books. The illustrations are really beautiful, too. Simona keeps asking for it by saying, "Boogie baby, boogie baby!"
Brandon Brooks


Really builds off of a child's imaginative thoughts on the wild creatures around him. Has an element of fantasy that stimulates a child's imagination.
Gail Park
Imaginative story--reminded me of Peter Pan for some reason...;)
Not too keen on the part about going somewhere and not telling a parent though...
Mimi
Really colorful and whimsical drawings, cute story about two girls who have to leave nature on its own. Bluebell pictures that are awesome!!
Haylee
Cute little creature, beautiful illustrations, lots of details, simple story that can provide an opportunity to ask lots of questions.
Elaine
Picture Book
The illustrations are fantastic. This is a story about some children who find a baby bog and bring it home.
Jessica
Phenomenal illustrations. The message is a tried and true one but something that kids can never start mulling over early enough.
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Jeanne Willis was born in St Albans and trained as an advertising copywriter at Watford College. She worked for various agencies creating press adverts and TV, cinema and radio commercials. She is now a full-time writer and has published over 80 books. Her hobbies include gardening, reading (non-fiction), natural history and collecting caterpillars. Jeanne has also worked on scripts for TV, includ...more
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