The Secret World of Og – Pierre Berton

secret world of og special edition

This book is not easy to come by in the States so if you see it- grab it.

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.


Here’s a little throw-back to the 80’s cartoon special I remember so fondly!

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!)

Secret world of OG

Patsy is the one in Braids. One of my favorite things about this story is how well the kids get along

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.


Here’s an example of one of the better illustrations. There are tons of them in the margins of each page of the book.

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



Clever Jack Takes the Cake- Candace Fleming

This is my husband’s favorite book to read to the girls at night. I love the story too, but he and the girls have so much fun reading it that I don’t read this one out loud as much as he does.

clever jackSummary: Poor Jack wants to go to the princesses birthday party, but cannot afford a gift.  He decides to make her a cake for which he must trade his few belongings to make, on his way to the party with his beautiful cake, birds, trolls, creepy dark forests, cake eating bears and strawberry allergies all get in the way of his wonderful creation making it safely to the party.  In the end, he is left standing before the princess with nothing but a story to tell… well she loves it!  Stuff is boring but stories are fun!  The two become friends and eat cake together.  (My daughter literally said- “nawh, I like stuff more, mom… ” so we have to more work to do on her!)


Review:  This one is so fun to read and definitely one that adults will enjoy as well.  It has remained a favorite for over a year now, so I would call that classic material. Jack’s positive attitude is great and hopefully something that will help kids remember that stuff doesn’t make you happy and a good attitude always helps. The illustrations are unique, with a simple hand-drawn look.


  • Author: Candace Fleming
  • Illustrator: G. Brian Karas
  • ISBN: 978-0-375-84979-4
  • Publisher: Schwarz & Wade Books – imprint of Random House inc.


Disclaimer:  I purchased this book with my own money (and a few copies for friends too)