Monday, August 30, 2010

Burgher and the Woebegone

Kim Chatel
Guardian Angel Publishing (2010)
ISBN 9781616330613
Reviewed by Evan Weldon (age 8) for Reader Views Kids


"Burgher and the Woebegone" by Kim Chatel is a choose-your-own-adventure book about an ugly, fat gnome named Burgher who wants to destroy spring because it reminds him of a friend he once lost.  His friend was an inchworm named Katy.  One day she made a chrysalis.  When she hatched out as a butterfly she heard Johnny Gold's magical flute and flew away toward it.  Burgher was upset that he would never see Katy again and blamed his unhappiness on Johnny Gold.  Johnny Gold, also known as the Apple Tree Man, magically brought life to the forest.  


Burgher had been able to get rid of Johnny Gold once by tricking the fairies into thinking that Johnny Gold's treasure was gold.  The fairies were very tempted by gold and dug around all the trees in search of the treasure.  They dug until the trees fell over.  But even the fairies knew that it would be too tragic to dig up the Queen Tree, the base of all the forest life.  So, except for the Queen Tree, the forest was left in ruins - tree's fallen and birds flying from their trees, all was in distress.  There was no green.   The forest was just how Burgher thought he wanted it.

Has Johnny Gold played the last tune on his flute?  Is spring gone for good?  Will Johnny Gold come back?  Will Burgher find happiness again?  The fate of Burgher and Johnny Gold is your hands!  There are lots of different choices to make.  Some lead to somewhat unhappy endings and some lead to happy endings.  It is all up to you.


I think lots of people would enjoy "Burgher and the Woebegone."  It might be an especially good book for kids who miss a friend.  I kept reading it until I had read all the different parts and endings.  It was a very fun book.  There were a handful of black and white sketches that added a good feel to the book.