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Vlasta Van Kampen.

Edmonton, Hurtig Publishers, c1982.
unpaged, paperbound boards, $5.95.
ISBN 0-88830-223-1.

Pre-School-Grade 1.
Reviewed by Kate Inoue.

Volume 11 Number 1.
1983 January.

This delightful alphabet book is a welcome addition to the ones on the market, particularly because of its Canadianness and its physical appeal. The theme is that of various animals meeting to celebrate Canada's birthday.

In some ways, it is really an exercise in alliteration, which can succeed very well: "T is for the two turtles tap dancing to the tune of the tubas and the trombone played by the twins outside the teepee"; sometimes is pretentious: "they drop down drowsy"; and occasionally is weak: "Y is for the yawns being yawned." However, if read to a child, it can be quite stimulating and can encourage an extension of their vocabulary. We had to stop and sing "0 Canada" part way through, and some illustrations drew squeals of laughter. At times, the theme had to be resurrected to explain the text, and Que-beckers may object to the Queen from Quebec.

The illustrations are black and white intricate pen drawings filling half of the 5x8 inch pages. They would have been easier to decipher if coloured, because of the many details, and yet these details will draw the child in to explore and look for objects and designs. There is a clean boldness to them. The book is sturdily bound and easily held by children.

With its Canadian vocabulary ("National Ballet," "lovely loon"), Canadian drawings (mountain goats, seals), and at a reasonable price, it should find a place on school and public library shelves for pre-school to grade 1. It may require an adult to read and introduce it to the children, but the children will surely respond.

Kate Inoue, Centennial Park E. S., Abbotsford, BC.
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