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Heymans, Annemie and Margriet Heymans.

Toronto, Annick Press, c1984. unpaged, paper, $9.95, ISBN 0-920236-804. CIP

Grades K-3
Reviewed by Patricia Fry

Volume 13 Number 1
1985 January

This whimsical story threads its way around Lena and her beautiful yellow dress that Aunt Polli has just finished knitting. On her way out the door, Lena's dress catches on a nail and begins to unravel. When Aunt Polli notices the yarn hooked on the nail, she picks up her knitting needles and heads out after Lena, knitting as she walks.

So begin two parallel adventures: first, Lena meets and surmounts obstacles such as a barking dog, a wailing baby, and crazy mountain people; then, Aunt Polli encounters the same. Children really enjoy the anticipation as they wait for Aunt Polli to deal with a challenge that Lena has met. They also chuckle as Lena's dress gets shorter and shorter.

The illustrations are rich in detail and, in fact, tell most of the story, as the narrative is sparse. For this reason, the book is particularly successful with non-readers. There are about seven pictures per page, arranged in comic-strip style, with colourful rectangles separated by white bars. The parallel adventures are reflected in the layout: Lena's are on the upper half of each page and Aunt Polli's are featured in the lower half.

Annemie and Margriet Heymans are sisters who have been writing and illustrating children's books together for years. For this book, Margriet has illustrated Lena's adventures in the upper story sequence, and Annemie has contributed Aunt Polli's story in the lower panels.

Recommended for grades K to 3, this book is also excellent for use with a small group and sure to fascinate on an individual basis.

Patricia Fry, Toronto, Ont.
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