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Pierre Berton’s The Secret World of Og, 30 years later

The Story

Beneath a trapdoor in the clubhouse of Penny, Pamela, Peter, Patsy, and the Pollywog (baby Paul) lies Og, a fantastical place of caverns and rivers inhabited by green-skinned Ogs. Written by Pierre Berton in 1961 and illustrated by his daughter Patsy 13 years later, The Secret World of Og has become a beloved classic of Canadian children's literature. Thirty years after Pierre penned those pages, his progeny Patsy appears on CBC-TV's Front Page Challenge to celebrate the book's 30th anniversary reprinting. 

Medium: Television
Program: Front Page Challenge
Broadcast Date: Nov. 28, 1991
Guest(s): Patsy Berton
Host: Fred Davis
Panellist: Pierre Berton, Allan Fotheringham, Betty Kennedy, Jack Webster
Duration: 6:03
The Secret World of Og. Written by Pierre Berton. Illustrated by Patsy Berton. Doubleday Canada.

Did You know?

• Pierre Berton always maintained that of all the dozens of books he wrote, The Secret World of Og was his favourite. Many young readers agreed. "I get more mail about this book than any other, most of it from young children," Berton wrote in his autobiography My Times. One such letter, from a seven-year-old boy, read: "Dear Mr. Berton: You are a real good writer. The Secret World of Og is the best book I've ever read in my whole life."

• When it was first released in 1961, the book had illustrations by William Winter, a regular contributor to Maclean's magazine. In 1974 a new edition of the book was re-released with illustrations by Patsy Berton, who was barely out of her teens at the time.

• As of 2009 the book had been adapted into an animated CBC-TV children's series and a live musical staged by Vancouver's Carousel Theatre.




Pierre Berton: Canadian Icon and Iconoclast more