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Thompson, Richard.

Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes. Toronto, Annick Press, 1988. unpaged, cloth. ISBN 1-55037-014-6 (paper) $4.95, 1-55037-015-4 (cloth) $12.95. Distributed by Firefly Books. CIP

Reviewed by Janet M. Tomkins

Volume 17 Number 1
1989 January

When Jesse's dad takes her on his shoulders for a walk one winter evening, she excitedly tells him that she can see the Man in the Moon. "I have to see this!" her dad declares, and he climbs on to the top of a mall box. But he can't see the Man in the Moon. Next time, Jesse sees the Mommy in the Moon and the Baby in the Moon. "I have to sec this!" her dad repeats, and climbs into a tree. Once again, he sees nothing. Finally, Jesse's dad climbs up a lamp-post. But he succeeds only in attracting the attention of a policeman. Jesse reassures him, "Maybe you will see them when you dream tonight." ... and he does.

The story is accompanied by illustrations that are unpretentious and attractive. The images of a winter's walk are dominated by blues, grays and blacks, which convey a sense of quiet, cold, stillness. By contrast, the pictures of the Man in the Moon and his family display a rainbow of colours and brim with action.

The constant alternation of the realistic and the imaginative elements in both the story and the art may confuse some pre-school children, but it is the inability on the part of Jesse's dad to conceptualize the world of his little daughter's fantasies that constitutes the book's greatest weakness. In a story that presents an appealing portrait of bonding between a small girl and her father. It seems incongruous that the father is unable to share in this imaginative world.

Nonetheless, children will enjoy the Illustrations in I Have to See This and they will appreciate Jesse's convincingly childlike chatter about what she sees in the sky.

Janet M. Tomkins, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alta.
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