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MacEwen, Gwendolyn.

Illustrated by Maureen Paxton. Windsor (Ont.), Black Moss Press, 1987. 32pp, paper, $5.95, ISBN 0-88753-157-1. Distributed by Firefly Books.

Pre-school to Grade 1
Reviewed by Christine Buchanan

Volume 16 Number 3
1988 May

It was with some disappointment that I read Dragon Sandwiches by Gwendolyn MacEwen, who has previously won the Governor General's Award for her adult poetry. My expectations were naturally high, but although the story was superficially funny, it was, to me, ultimately weak and unconvincing.

In rhyme, a young girl asks for "dragon sandwiches" for lunch (remembrance of Alligator Pie?), but since mom is fresh out dad goes out to kill one or two. They are duty caught and sliced, and the heroine finds that all the other kids at school "ate their boring stuff" and were jealous since nobody "had a lunch as good as me". The story seems slight, without that sparkle that fantasy needs to give it conviction and a life of its own; the language is unmemorable; and the rhyme seems to trip along in places. However, the ingenious illustrations by Maureen Paxton, full of Dada-esque detail, help to give some atmosphere and fun to the story.

Not recommended.

Christine Buchanan, Toronto, Ont.
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