Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Call of the Swamp

The Call of the Swamp

Davide Cali
Illustrator:  Marco Soma 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2017   ISBN: 978-0802854865

Before they found him, Boris’ parents tried to have a baby of their own, but doctors told them that they would not be able to have a child. They had given up hope that they would be able to become parents, so when they found Boris on the edge of the swamp they were delighted. They could not care less that the baby had gills. They did not care where he came from even. All that mattered was that he was now theirs.

Boris grew up to be a perfectly normal boy except that he had gills, and eyes that were a little bigger than usual. His life was happy, or so he thought.

Then one day Boris picked up the scent of the swamp on the air. The aroma tugged at him and questions rattled around in his head. Was he really living the life that he was supposed to be living?

One morning Boris left home and began to walk, pulled along by the smell that was haunting him. Finally Boris came to the swamp, and at last he felt complete and at home. In the swamp he belonged, and he fitted in with the other creatures who were like him.

Boris was happy for a while until he began to realize that he was not exactly like his neighbors in the swamp. He began to feel homesick, and he wondered if he really was in the right place after all. Should he go home or should he stay in the swamp?

This wonderful, magical picture book explores the idea of what a home is. The unique artwork offers a stunning backdrop for a text that is powerful and memorable.