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Town, Harold.

Oakville (Ont.), Mosaic Press, 1987, 36pp, paperbound boards, $9.95, ISBN 0-88962-293-8. CIP

Kindergarten to Grade 2
Reviewed by Joan Weller

Volume 16 Number 3
1988 May

An artist does not necessarily an illustrator make. This is particularly true of the illustrator of children's books. To illustrate successfully for children there must be that childlike link with the reader. Sendak always tells us that he writes and illustrates for the child that is within him. It is the child who has not grown up that gives the world our great illustrators of children's books. Likewise, an artist does not necessarily make a good author of children's books, although we know of many successful books where the writer-illustrator naturally knows what is needed in the visual presentation of the text. Like the pictures, the text must have child appeal.

In this picture-book we begin with a text that is not for children. One suspects that only the author is amused by such static lines as these:

"Murphy The Wonderful Dog observing the first earth to sky lightning" and "Murphy The Wonderful Dog observing the first oblong clouds."

This is characteristic of every page. Over and over again readers must "observe" the dog in pictures that are monotonously similar, not funny, and of no interest to children. Not recommended.

Joan Weller, Ottawa Public Library, Ottawa, Ont.
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