Margaret Wild (text), Judith Rossell (illus.) Bogtrotter, Walker, 1 May 2015, 32pp., $24.95, ISBN 9781921977558
Bogtrotter is a fluffy green creature with a goofy smile and clod-hopping feet. He is also a creature of routine. Every day, all day, he runs across the bog, up the bog, down the bog and around the bog. He knows there’s something better out there, but he doesn’t quite know how to get it. One day he meets an inquisitive frog whose questions prompt him to ponder. He notices a flower between his toes. For the first time ever, he picks a flower. His heart becomes hopeful. Every day now, Bogtrotter makes himself stop to do something different. The second time Bogtrotter meets the frog, the frog leads him to dream bigger. This time he leaves the bog and runs off to investigate the world outside.
How often do we ask ourselves the philosophical questions – if I could venture out beyond the sphere of my knowledge what would I find? Am I brave enough to try? What could be the catalyst for me?
This story is deceptively simple, yet prompts the reader to question, leading to concepts of risk taking and resilience, dreaming big! I found myself thinking of well worn sayings like being ‘bogged down’ and ‘stopping to smell the roses’. The world is full of possibilities if we have an open mind.
Judith Rossell uses muted green tones of watercolour to create the bog. She expertly captures Bogtrotter’s emotions as he tries new things and adventures into the unknown. Her illustrations are joyful and full of hope.
Recommended for preschoolers and early readers, and philosophers!
reviewed by Sharon Seymour