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Bog Baby  


Jeanne Willis, ill. Gwen Millward

Age 5-7 years

The narrator tells her memories of secretly visiting a magic pond with her sister many years ago. The pond appeared in the woods in Springtime. There they found a strange little creature, round and blue, it was a Bog Baby. They fished him out and kept him as a pet in a bucket, hiding him in the shed, playing with him, taking him to school and for walks and feeding him cake crumbs.

They loved him but unsurprisingly, the Bog Baby did not thrive as a pet – he lost weight and wasn’t happy. Eventually mum found out and the bog baby is soon returned to his natural home.

This is a story to inspire conversations about wild creatures, their habitats, and what loving them really means. It also provides lots of opportunities for creative fun including making your own bog baby.

Watch the story read aloud


Share the story

Read the story
Read the story aloud to your child pause to talk about what’s happening in the words or pictures if your child wants to.

Re read the story
When your child becomes familiar with the story they could join in with the reading. If developing independence as readers, they could read alternate pages with you or read the parts which describe how the girls looked after the bog baby or when mum is speaking.

Talk about the book

◼︎Talk together about what you both like most about the story
◼︎Talk about the questions that come into your heads after reading this story, does the book make you wonder about anything?
◼︎ If you met Chrissie and her sister, what would you say to them about taking the bog baby home?

Things to make and do

Make a bog baby

Make a bog baby from playdough lovemybooks | FREE reading resources for parents add buttons for eyes and cut out wings and a tail from a piece of card.

Make a home for a bog baby
Make a home for a bog baby in a small bucket with shells, pebbles, pond weeds and water.

Make a book
Make a zig zag book for your child. Talk about the main scenes in the story. Your child could draw their own picture for each of these on a section of their mini book and then write what is happening underneath or you could scribe their ideas for them.

Walk in the woods
Go for a walk in the woods. Talk together about what you see and what you hear. If you can, do the same walk at different times of the year and spot changes in the plants, trees and birdsong.

Look closely in a pond or a rock pool
What can you see? Can you spot any creatures?

You might like to go pond dipping with your child. You will need a small net and a shallow plastic container to look closely at the creatures you find. Find out more here Pond Dipping | Activities for Kids for Spring & Summer – The RSPB

Find out more

Read more books by Jeanne Willis, titles include:
Tadpole’s Promise
Slug needs a Hug
Lottie Potter wants an Otter
Dr Xargle’s Book of Earthlets
In Springtime

If it is frogspawn time, collect some from the pond with enough water and pond weed, and put it in a fish tank at home. Observe their development. Find out how to look after them. How to rear froglets – How to raise froglets from frogspawn | BBC Wildlife Magazine | Discover Wildlife

Make sure you and your child carefully return them to the pond when they have turned into froglets.