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Robert Munsch. Illustrated by Suzanne Duranceau.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 1984.
unpaged, paper, $4.95.
ISBN 0-920236-93-6. paperbound boards, $12.95. ISBN 0-920236-98-7. CIP.

Grades 1-4 / Ages 6-9

Reviewed by Patricia Fry.

Volume 13 Number 2
1985 March

"Hurrah! Another new book by Robert Munsch," said my six-year-old daughter when I opened the review copy of Millicent and the Wind. We were not disappointed with the story, but we were thrilled with the illustrations by Suzanne Duranceau. The drawings, particularly of Millicent, make the reader want to linger over each detail. The characters in her pictures convey a range of emotions, from loneliness and resignation to wistfulness and joy, and they all come through the artist's brush.

Finding a playmate is what the book is about, and that's a topic that all children can identify with, even though not many live in an isolated cabin on a mountain, as Millicent does. The wind becomes her friend, and a loyal one it proves to be, by eventually blowing a human playmate to her mountain home. A nice touch occurs when Millicent asks for a playmate and the wind responds: "Boy or girl?" Millicent answers: "Get me a friend." And her friend turns out to be a brown-skinned boy, a subtle reminder that friendship bridges all kinds of people.

Most of the illustrations are one full page, with the facing page displaying the text in black type on a soft blue background. Occasionally, the drawings, all of which are in colour, spill across both pages, and the text is boxed in a small patch of blue superimposed on the drawing. Because this book is so visually appealing, and because the story can be read aloud or told quite easily, it's an ideal choice to be shared with a group of children.

Recommended for grades 1 to 4.

Patricia Fry, Toronto, ON.
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