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Sawicki, Leo.

Illustrated by Michael Robinson. Moonbeam (Ont.), Penumbra Press, 1986. 63pp, paper, $7.95, ISBN 0-920806-78-3. No CIP

Grades 3-6
Reviewed by Sharon A. McLennan McCue

Volume 15 Number 4
1987 July

There are many books of the legends of native people on the market but there is always room for another if it is well presented. To answer the question of whether or not this collection will be a useful addition, one must ask what it must provide-either for the reader or for the classroom teacher. This volume has both its pros and its cons. Only the user can decide whether or not one outweighs the other.

The book is well bound, on quality paper, with easy-to-read print, so it will not immediately turn off those reluctant readers who look for thin volumes with big print. However, it is difficult to believe that many students would choose this one on their own because it looks too much like a textbook. This textbook look comes from the questions and suggested activities at the end of each story. For this reason, Anytime Stories would probably be best used by a teacher, reading to the class.

The questions and projects are repeated in an expanded version in the instruction guide at the end of the book. They are the sort of questions and projects that a truly imaginative teacher would disdain but then, would such a teacher use these stories in the first place?

The virtue of these stories is that they are short and written in simple language so that they would be within the reading capabilities of most children in the grade 3 to grade 6 range. However, some of the virtue of the writing is lost in the style, which is not very interesting to read. This style is not improved by Michael Robinson's illustrations that neither enhance the text nor add beauty to the book.

In the final analysis, this is not a bad book but neither is it an outstandingly good one. If you are looking for Indian legends, there are better examples available.

Sharon A. McLennan McCue, Cree School Board, Chisasibi, James Bay, Que.
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