32 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 1-55081-200-9
DDC jC811'.6





Reviewed by R. Gordon Moyles

R. Gordon Moyles is professor emeritus of English at the University of
Alberta, co-author of Imperial Dreams and Colonial Realities: British
Views of Canada, 1880–1914, and author of The Salvation Army and the


“Boobagger [n] a little man who lives under your house. If you are
surprised by a boobagger, put your hands over your ears and say ‘boo
to you’ and ‘tit for tat.’” So says the footnote to the funny,
but unfrightening Edward Learish poem about one of Newfoundland’s
unusual beasts—part mythological, part real. He’s in company with a
horsy-hops, an owenshook, a beachy-bird, an angle-dog, and a bullymaroo,
each with its own singable poem and pages of fun illustrations.

The originality of Barton’s concept, the cleverness of his
illustrations, and the slightly scary creatures make for an attractive
book. Not only will it be a delight for young children to read, but it
will be an even greater pleasure to read to them. Though probably not
intended as such, it will also be an excellent resource for any teacher
who wants an imaginative stimulus for a class on language, a study of
Newfoundland mythology (the number of such creatures can be extended
indefinitely: just look at The Dictionary of Newfoundland English to
find them), or even a musical exercise (a full score of “The
Horsy-hops Song,” written by Fergus O’Bryne, is included). Highly
recommended for youngsters, teachers, and collectors of Newfoundland


Barton, Anthony., “Horsy-hops,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 17, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/24133.