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Betty Stevens.

Ottawa, Borealis Press, c1981.
28pp, paper, $13.95 (cloth),$5.95 (paper).
ISBN 0-88887-946-6 (cloth), 0-88887-087-6 (paper).

Grades 4 and up.
Reviewed by Jane Robinson.

Volume 12 Number 1
1984 January

When a pet skunk, appropriately named Mischief, moves from the farm to the city along with her owners, the adjustment is not always easy. For the most part, Mischief is met with surprise and apprehension until she proves herself a heroine and wins acceptance. Although Mischief’s encounters result in some humorous and hair-raising situations, the narrative is more successful in bringing to life the warmth of the relationship between eight-year-old Tommy and his pet. The theme of Steven's first book would be very appealing for children in grades 2 to 4. However, while CIP data indicate availability in both paperback and cloth, the format of the paper edition requires a more sophisticated reader than that indicated just above. One reason for this is the amount of reading involved (approximately three hundred words per page of text). Another reason is that the black-and-white pencil sketches by Ineke Standish often lack clarity and do not help to make the book more appealing. The cover design further hampers the book's ability to attract. It is not impossible to tell what kind of animal the book is about from the partial sketch of Mischief on a black background, nor is there any inviting written indication on the back cover as to the contents within.

Unfortunately, this is one book that will be judged by its cover. Consequently, it is unlikely that readers in grades 4 to 6 will pick Make Way for Mischief from a library shelf for independent reading.

Jane Robinson, Christ the King School, Winnipeg, MB.
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