CM . . .
. Volume XVII Number 9. . . .October 29, 2010
Bogbrush fancies himself a barbarian warrior like his grandfather Bumrash, but his parents can’t handle him, and so he sets out on a heroic quest of unknown destination. At the Temple of the Great Belch, he is told his quest is to pull the axe from the stone in the kingdom of Scrofula and thereby become king. On the way, he is joined by his new friends, Sneaky the thief and Diphtheria the performer/alchemist. Together, they escape the clutches of the evil mage Zeldar and his band of hairy apemen. Reaching Scrofula, Bogbrush finds he isn’t quite able to pull the axe out of the stone, but he does lift the entire stone with the axe still in it, inadvertently destroying the temple of Scrofula and causing much trouble from which the threesome make their escape.
Bogbrush the Barbarian is not in any way a serious novel. It has no socially relevant themes – although, if you stretch it, a learned female alchemist might make do. But that isn’t the point: Bogbrush the Barbarian is meant to be nothing but a hilarious romp that goes from one witty joke to the next, with all sorts of “educational” sidebars like this one:
GEOGRAPHY LESSON! FOREIGN, FARAWAY PLACES include distant Tzing, legendary Kalash, unpleasant Yeccchh and mythical Saskatoon. They are probably all imaginary. I’ve never been to them, anyway.
Todd Kyle is the CEO of the Newmarket Public Library in Ontario and has served on the jury of a number of children’s literature awards.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.