The BogeyBugz is a series of four environmental adventures by Martin Lever. The books are inspired by five-year-old Remi Gene Lever and follow the BogeyBugz Manifesto:
NOBODY NoSE WheRE theY CamE from.
BUT THEY’RE HERE, HAND-PICKED TO SAVE the WORLD.
BeCauSE EVERY NOW and AGAIN,
MOTHER NATURE NEEDS SOMEONE
TO PICK-IT FOR THE PLANET
The BUGZ don’t condone nose picking…destruction of the forests or any other anti-social habits.
I absolutely love the illustrations in these books and the fact that the destruction of the forest is considered anti-social behavior (would someone please tell the Bush administration?); however, the resolutions in the stories don’t really work with the environmental problems they are trying to solve. The end page of each book is filled with “facterias” that I wish were more part of the plot of each environmental adventure.
In Grey Day, for example, the BogeyBugz discover the world has gone grey. The colors are gone from the smog.
“This is no ordinary CLOUD,” said Plasmo who’d realised what was wrong. “This is SMOG! It’s blocking the sun, and DRAINING all the colour out of the world.” The BogeyBugz were Horrified.
The BogeyBugs solve the problem of smog by catapulting buckets of paint into the sky.
These stories are creative, but I feel even fictitious stories should properly educate children on the complexities of climate change, especially the solutions. We can’t just spray “cloud-friendly washing up liquid” to stop acid rain or put out forest fires with wet sheep tied to balloons. These palliative measures don’t eliminate the sources of the climate change effects, although their silliness appeals to children. I am also annoyed with the improper use of capitals in the stories. I know it may seem trite, but children learn the rules of our language every time they encounter it.
The BogeyBugz stories are printed on FSC paper and some proceeds are donated to the World Wildlife Fund. I’d like to see someone write a children’s book that uses creativity to empower children and goes beyond the entertainment factor. Perhaps the silliness of the The BogeyBugz is needed to introduce children to the subject of climate change, but I feel something is missing in the resolutions. Perhaps teachers and parents can use the resolutions for discussion to truly explore the complexities of climate change.