When the moon disguises herself as a human and descends to explore Swampland, she is preyed on by bogles bearing will-o’-the-wisps, but manages with the last of her strength to rescue a human child who has been lured into the quagmire. She is imprisoned in the swamp, and it is left to the boy and the wise woman he consults to plot her escape so that the night sky can be illuminated again. This is a spectrally fascinating picture book, in which dark liquid washes and fascicular brushwork recreate the nocturnal waterworld prowled by the scrawny green bogles. The page depicting the boy swimming underwater knife in hand to free the moon is quietly spectacular. As evocative as his paintings, Robertson’s prose slithers on the brink of poetry, telling the tale in rhythms that mimic the squirming struggles of its protagonists.
This brief and powerful story is a retelling of a traditional tale from the Lincolnshire Fens.