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Blakely, Cindy and Suzanne Drinkwater.

Markham (Ont.). Viking Kestrel. c1986. unpaged, paperbound boards, $9.95. ISBN 0-670-91205-06. Distributed by Penguin Canada.ClP

K-Grade 4
Reviewed by Patricia Fry

Volume 15 Number 2
1987 March

Children need common sense guidance to keep them safe on the street, a few practical rules that will protect them without alarming (hem unduly. This street safety book does just that. The Lookout Book!, by Toronto book publisher Suzanne Drinkwater and social worker Cindy Blakely, is aimed at children rather than at their parents. Accordingly, it is set up to appeal to youngsters, with vivid illustrations, simple printed messages, and a fuzzy animal named Beeper, who guides the way through the rules and occasionally quizzes the readers.

Each double page focuses on a new situation and illustrator Barbara Klunder uses animal characters to demonstrate problems and solutions. There are tips on dressing properly, where to play, how to walk or ride safely, signs to remember, and how to ask for help. A typical situation is "going out," featuring a double-page illustration of a kitchen. A bulletin board lists emergency phone numbers and appointment reminders, plus a message from Dad. Superimposed over the appliances are five safety rules to heed before leaving the house. Beeper underlines the key rule by asking: "Does someone always know where you are?"

The middle of the book opens to "The Lookout Game," which is patterned on the familiar "Snakes and Ladders" board game. The book also has a provocative "what if" section, where children and parents are encouraged to discuss potential trouble situations. This list could also be used to stimulate classroom discussion.

The Lookout Book! is endorsed by the Block Parent Program of Canada. There is a description of this program on the final page of the book, as well as information on becoming a Block Parent. Highly recommended.

Patricia Fry, Toronto, Ont.
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