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Anita Krumins.
Illustrations by Brian Fray.

Toronto, Three Trees Press, c1982.
unpaged, paper, $11.95 (paperbound boards), $4.95 (paper) .
ISBN 0-88823-047-8 (paperbound boards), 0-88823-047-8 (paper).

Grades 2 and up
Reviewed by Jean E. Mabee.

Volume 12 Number 1
1984 January

"Everyone knew Mr. Wurtzel was mean. Everybody, that is, except little Ernily." A fairly common theme, a nasty old man or woman, living alone in a run down, large, old house, shunning all contact with neighbours. As in this story, many of the elements are familiar to the reader. Mr. Wurtzel hates everyone and everything; especially pets and cute kids. Parents use his name to cajole and/or frighten their children into behaving. Hardly an admirable example of good parenting. The setting is meant to be closely linked to the scary theme. Hallowe'en night is upon us, and of course all of the children stay far away from Mr. Wurtzel's house. They have been warned. Emily is Picture Books & Easy Reading an innocent child, a newcomer to the neighbourhood, who loves Hallowe'en. She wants to dress up as a bunny this year and is happy to be going door-to-door and seeing all of the other children. Emily knocked on Mr. Wurtzel's door and found to her amazement that the growling sounds she thought came from a dog, came from the angry man who opened the door. The results are very predictable. By simply being kind, Emily wins over Mr. Wurtzel. The print in this volume is reasonably large and easy to read. The pictures, done in sepia tones, complement the story. Children looking for a scary Hallowe'en story will be disappointed. Younger children might not mind this drawback. A major hesitation in recommending this book comes from the suggestion that children should venture out alone in unfamiliar surroundings.

Jean E. Mabee, Dieppe E. S., Winnipeg, MB.
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