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Mordecai Richter. Illustrated by Norman Eyolfson.
Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart, 1987.
85pp., cloth, $14.95.
ISBN 0-7710-7484-0. CIP.

Subject Heading:

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11

Reviewed by Adele M. Fasick.

Volume 15 Number 5
1987 September

One of the popular heroes of Canadian children's books, Jacob Two-Two, has returned in a new adventure. Having reached the advanced age of eight, Jacob has stopped repeating everything he says, but he still feels inferior to his older brothers and sisters and has a difficult time adjusting to life in Montréal. When his parents, on returning from a trip to Africa, bring him a small lizard in a box, Jacob is happy to find a new friend.

Dippy, as the lizard is named, grows with extraordinary rapidity and soon becomes the terror of cottage country. Like many other gentle giants in children's books, he is forced to flee from the violent forces of adult society. Richter has fun satirizing Prime Minister Perry Pleaser who yearns to win friends and votes by becoming a giant killer, and the government's chief scientific adviser Professor Wacko Kilowatt whose greatest contribution to knowledge is the discrovery that January is colder than July. Many of Richler's jokes are aimed not at children but at the adults who will read this book aloud.

The story moves along at a lively pace and has an irreverent tone which will appeal to fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Bantam, 1986). It is not a great contribution to children's literature but it has received wide media attention and will be in demand in many libraries.

Adele M. Fasick, Faculty of Library and Information Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
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