Story and Paintings by Garry Fleming
First published by Weldon Kids 1995.
A tale of precious places and treasured friends.
Amongst our forests and woodlands there are untouched pockets where time stands still.
This is a story of one such place and the creatures that dwell in its valley.
This is the story of Bollygum. . .
Set in the Australian bush we meet wombat, a nervous content fellow that loves to fish everyday. One morning he is startled by the sound of someone crying, and discovers a little possum. Wombat soon learns that she is from the city and had been separated from her family, caught, and released into the bush.
Wombat decides they should visit the reclusive platypus for help, who suggests Wombat should call a town meeting. All the creatures of Bollygum meet at the big stump to discuss little possum’s dilemma.
The city is a mystery for the little creatures of Bollygum, no one knows how to get there.
Frogmouth, the wise wizard castes his spell to summons the cockatoo, who they believe might have seen the city in his travels. But it’s ring-tail possum that arrives with the information they need, a map that had belonged to his grandfather, and so the adventure begins. . .
Wombat’s compassion gives him and his friends the courage to venture beyond the land they know to take little possum back to her family. Each stage of their journey is a wonderful adventure through the bush with all sorts of mishaps and wonders.
Bollygum is a story of mateship and courage that has captured the hearts of Australian children since 1995. The story introduces the reader to some of Australia’s unique flora and fauna, the habitats in which they live, and the need for their protection.
In 2009 the Chinese edition of Bollygum was launched with the highest print-run of an Australian story sold into the Chinese market.
In Kingslake Victoria there is a wonderful community park, Bollygum Park, based on the characters and places featured in the book.
In 2013 Bollygum was one of the classic Australian children’s books chosen by the Victorian Government, as a gift to Prince William and Kate, on the birth of Prince George.
To mark the 20th Anniversary of Bollygum Garry and I decided to put together this blog so we provide some background information about the book, and create more content and resources for parents, teachers, librarians, readers and other fans.