I can hardly be a fair critic of this book because I grew up watching the TV show when it would come on a few times a year as a cartoon morning special. It Aired in that last spot before cartoons ended and tennis came on, and well into chore-starting time… so watching it was kind of a special deal; requiring the perfect mix of parental approval and cartoon chance. So, of course I love this book. It’s about kids and their imagination and it absolutely takes me back to a time when mine was still running wild.
Time will tell if my girls like the story, and I fully intend to read this to them once they sit still long enough to test it out. Thankfully, this Canadian edition has TONS of pictures in it though they look a bit amateur, and not in the purposeful way. Still, I like the unique-ness of it and that his daughter drew the pictures for this. I also have to say that her character is by far the cutest looking… If one of my sisters did that, we’d have called it out. Julie, I am thinking of you specifically!)
But on to the story for people who didn’t grow up in the 80’s, or for those whose parents wouldn’t allow chores to be pushed off until 11. Four siblings search for their baby brother underneath a secret tunnel in their play house and find a world filled with mushrooms and little green people who only say “OG!” all the time, for everything. “Og, Og, Og” Not only that, but they are dressed in funny discarded costumes and have many of the items the Berton kids have misplaced over the years, like Penny’s most favorite doll. All of the kids and their pet dog and cat have a great adventure together and save the land of “Og”. Well, kind of. Maybe they don’t save any underground lands, but they do retrieve their baby brother. They mostly get along and stick together as a family, which in my book makes a fantastic story to read to my kids.
I read the special edition and it was a nice size for reading aloud and had illustrations on nearly every page. It is definitely preferable to the movie-tie in version that is a bit easier to find.
- Author: Pierre Berton
- Illustrator: Patsy Berton
- ISBN: 0-385-65911-3
- Publisher: Doubleday Canada
- Copyright 1961