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Danyèle Patenaude and Roger Cantin. Translated and adapted by Betty Waterton.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood, l985.
90pp., paper, $2.95.
ISBN 0-88899-040-5. CIP.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11

Reviewed by Sally Davies.

Volume 14 Number 3
1986 May

It all started the day before Christmas, when members of a sixth grade class were asked to bring something they treasured to show to their classmates. One student brought his grandfather's army bugle, which set the stage for an activity to fill their vacation. Sides were drawn, rules were made, and a lively time was had by the children. Throughout the story, Cleo, a dearly beloved St. Bernard, seems bewildered by it all. Seemingly the dog is the symbol for peace, while the bugle is the symbol of war.

The author has developed a fast-paced story that indirectly says much about children and the society in which they live. With humour and insight. Waterton shows the senselessness of war, even when it is just a game. For example, after the war is brought to an end because of a tragic accident that leaves Cleo dead, the youngster who was responsible for creating a fort, suggests they get together in the summer and build a tree house.

To this reviewer, it is clear that we need this type of story in our libraries so that children will be exposed to the senselessness of fighting. It is the job of adults to create an environment that cultivates constructive rather than destructive play.

Sally Davies, St. John's , NF.
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