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Stéphane Poulin.
Montréal, PQ: Tundra Books, 1987.
24pp., paperbound boards, $12.95.
ISBN 0-88776-198-4. CIP.

Subject Headings:

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8

Reviewed by Jane Robinson.

Volume 16 Number 3
1988 May

Josephine, the mischievous cat, author / illustrator Stéphane Poulin endeared to readers in his award-winning book Have You Seen Josephine? (Tundra, 1986) has got her owner Daniel on the run again! This time Daniel chases Josephine through just about every inch of his school, enlisting the help of class-mates and eliciting the wrath of teachers along the way. And "What a chase!" Children will be on the edge of their seats, applauding Josephine's narrow escapes and clever hiding places and yet anxious over her ultimate fate. While Josephine does eventually get caught, the ending is wonderfully unpredictable and Josephine manages to land on her feet once again.

The style of the writing and the layout of the text seem to mirror the action and mood of the story. Sentences are generally short, describing a single action or thought and are set up on a line by themselves. But one quickly follows another, each subsequent sentence having a snowball effect and thereby creating the delightfully frantic pace of the story.

Stéphane Poulin is considered a topranking Canadian illustrator. It was the illustrations in Have You Seen Josephine? that won him the 1987 Canada Council Children's Literature Prize. The same graphic detail and vibrancy of colour are again present in his paintings for Can You Catch Josephine?. These full-page llustrations are so realistic that the reader will be drawn to touch for texture and depth. They are complemented on adjacent pages by humorous pencil sketches that allow the reader yet another look into Josephine's predicament and lead to a further appreciation of her situation. Poulin's characters, revealed almost entirely through the illustrations, are interesting and diverse, but their eyes seem too staring and strangely similar to each other.

Highly recommended with one note of caution: the thread binding seems to weaken and become loose with normal usage, and since this book will likely be well read, it may require reinforcing or premature repair.

Jane Robinson, Winnipeg, MB.
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