Beware The Blue Bagoo by Karl Newson and Andrea Stegmaier

The Blurb On The Back:

Readers Beware!

Rumour has it, the BLUE BAGOO is a BIG, bothersome wild beast.

Follow the detective to discover the truth.

BEWARE THE BLUE BAGOO was released in the United Kingdom on 9th February 2023.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order BEWARE THE BLUE BAGOO by Karl Newson and Andrea Stegmaier from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

There is a detective in town and they are looking for the Blue Bagoo. Everyone tells them to beware the Blue Bagoo because there are rumours that they squashed a parrot and took a hat but the detective is not convinced and goes in search of the truth. Is the Blue Bagoo big and mean and grizzly and even green? The only way to find out is to read this book …

Karl Newson and Andrea Stegmaier’s utterly charming rhyming picture book warns about the danger of believing rumours by highlighting how the rumours get worse and worse the more they spread. Rhyming narration can be very forced and leave me underwhelmed but I think Newson’s text works well here (especially the children speaking to the detective) and Stegmaier’s bold, bright illustrations are a delight – especially the detective’s deerstalker hat.

I’m going to start this review by saying that rhyming picture books are not a go-to preference for me – when they’re done badly (and I have read some that have not worked) the rhymes are pretty tortuous and leave me cold.

Fortunately, Newson has not fallen into this trap. I really enjoyed the way the rhymes build in this text – especially as the various characters who the detective encounters describes what the Blue Bagoo looks like and the heinous crimes that it has committed. In fact it was the crimes that probably amused me the most – especially the gobbling up or nibbling of their various relatives as they get more wild and accusatory the more people the detective meets. Also amusing are the rhymes for the reveal of the Blue Bagoo, which includes a surprise that will delight younger readers and the over-riding message about being kind and friendly is a good one that we should be teaching.

Stegmaier’s bright, bold illustrations work perfectly with the text. Obviously blue is a feature colour but the spectrum here is very broad and I really liked how the town’s inhabitants have different features – some are green, some are orange, some have animal ears. There’s also a lot going on in the pictures and if you are an adult helping a young reader, there is a lot here for you to point out (my favourites being the hidden Blue Bagoos on the first few pages).

All in all, I thought this book was utterly charming and one that young readers will really enjoy and grown up readers will be able to read and re-read many times before getting fed up of it.  

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