This sweet but clever story is told from two perspectives, both with a different lense on New Zealand's native species. Bo, is a Bimble (a kakapo-like creature with hands) and Bernie, is a boy (on holiday from Scotland).
Bo wishes to explore and to find answers for her questions. She is brave beyond any other bimble and with the help of her forest friends, seeks out advice from Kuia, the tuatara. Her quest for knowledge sends her on a journey to Elsewhere, beyond the fence that keeps out animals from the North.
Bernie’s diary entries about the wildlife he encounters comically show human and animal viewpoints and gradually lead us closer to his encounter, and then friendship, with Bo.
Along with Bernie's observations about our birdlife, interspersed throughout are entries from ‘The Young Spotter’s Guide to NZ Birds’. The facts that tie in with the characters gave me a sense of awe about the vast forests on the South Island and the wonderful and unusual animals that inhabit them. Issues around conservation and society are delicately explored from appreciating the light of the quiet glow worm to dealing with untrustworthy keas.
I loved this book and think it would make a fantastic discussion creating class read-aloud that would engage students easily with its perfect blend of facts and magic.
Title: When Bo Bimble Went Elsewhere
Author: Sue Copsey
Illustrator: Helena Copsey and Michael Copsey
Publisher: Treehouse Books
Publication: August 2021
Themes: conservation, wildlife
Would this book work as a readaloud? Yes!
Reviewer: Kirsten Puddick, Librarian, Holy Cross School, Miramar, Wellington
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
Opening sentence: Somewhere deep in a hidden valley, close to the very ends of the Earth, live the bimbles.
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