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Doerksen, Nan.

Illustrated by Kathy Penner. Winnipeg, Kindred Press, cl986. 59pp, paper, $5.50. ISBN 0-919797-53-9. Distributed by Kindred Press. 4-169 Riverton Ave., Winnipeg, Man., R2L 2E5.

Grades 3-6
Reviewed by Fran Newman

Volume 14 Number 5
1986 September

Upon looking at the copyright, one notices that this slim paperback, meant for ages eight to eleven is published by the Board of Christian Literature. General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches of North America. This explains the book's didactic focus. Loosely chaptered, it is a series of vignettes depicting a family of the 1900's, as evidenced by the first automobile. Nettie, her brother Johnny. Mother, Father, Grandmother Franzen, and then later, older brothers Jake and Abe. make up a farm family.

Nettie figures in the first chapters. She sets out traps for rabbits to earn money to buy books, then does not have to because she sees a man who lives deep in the woods, goes in for tea (no fear of this?), and borrows his books, thereby allowing the nets to be sprung. Next, Nettie and two other girls purloin the jam in the pail and eat it all. Then there is a forest fire and Nettie must run for help. Then the new car arrives.

It is not much. The spiritual teachings are not subtle. Mother is stiff about the car's expense, then comes around. The car runs out of gas just as the father and sons have driven it to show a neighbour. The comment; "Pride goeth before a fall."

Then comes a chapter about another little girl, Alma, who has to deal with sibling rivalry. A very disjointed book, poorly illustrated. Not a Canadian Little House on the Anything. Not recommended.

Fran Newman, Murray Centennial P.S., Trenton, Ont.
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