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Gugler, Laurel Dee.

Illustrated by Leonard Aguanno. Windsor (Ont.), Black Moss Press. 1988. unpaged, paper, $5.95. ISBN 0-88753-156-3. Distributed by Firefly Books.

Kindergarten and Grade 1
Reviewed by Patricia Fry

Volume 16 Number 5
1988 September

Is there a child alive who hasn't played with dinner until cajoled or threatened to quit stalling and swallow the food? That universal experience forms the plot in Mashed Potato Mountain. With a few deft movements of his fork, Jamie turns the mashed potatoes into mountains with a gravy river tumbling past broccoli trees and under a crusty bridge.

The clever illustrations by Leonard Aguanno give this story wonderful dimensions. Jamie and his plate are perfectly proportioned on the first page, but in a series of four sketches on the second page, Jamie's imagination takes over. The plate of food grows and grows and grows, until, on the next page, Jamie is standing at the edge of mashed potato mountains surveying the scene before him. By the last page, things are back to normal proportions: Jamie has resumed his size and it appears that he will eat rather than play with the ice cream in his bowl.

Throughout the book, the illustrations almost cover both pages, leaving side-bars for the text. The high visual appeal makes this a good read-aloud choice.

Patricia Fry, Toronto, Ont.
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