THE STORY OF PHILIP
Volume 11 Number 4.
The Story of Philip by Elizabeth Kouhi is the story of the author's own handicapped son. The reader is introduced to the "wee good-natured baby" who, it soon becomes evident, is not developing in the expected manner. He cannot talk much, he goes to a special school, and he cannot keep up with children his own age. But there are many things that Philip can do, the most important being his ability to love.
The story opens many excellent opportunities for discussing how a retarded child affects a family: one of his sisters becomes upset because a neighbourhood boy says Philip is crazy; Philip shows no fear of water in spite of almost drowning; his mother just hugs him when Philip asks why he cannot read although his younger sister can.
The softly coloured illustrations by Helga Miller suit the gentle tone of the story. Also, each one features Philip. I was sorry that there were not more illustrations, on every page rather than alternate pages, particularly for a read-aloud situation. Kouhi is also the author of Fiction
Jamie of Thunder Bay (Borealis, 1977) and a book of children's verse, North Country Spring.* Recommended, particularly to stimulate a class discussion.
*Reviewed vol. X/l 1982 p.38.
Patricia Fry, Toronto, ON.
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