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Patricia Quinlan. Illustrated by Lindsay Grater.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 1989.
22pp., paper, $4.95.
ISBN 1-55037-072-3. cloth, $12.95. ISBN 1-55037073-1. Distributed by Firefly Books. CIP.

Subject Heading:
Mothers and daughters-Fiction.

Kindergarten-grade 4 / Ages 3-9

Reviewed by Patricia Fry.

Volume 17 Number 6
1989 November

Picking up a now discarded but once favourite article can evoke powerful memories in children as well as adults. That's what the red sled does for Anna and, finally, for her mother too.

The story begins with Anna and her mother cleaning out the storage locker to find items for the school bazaar. But work for Anna ends when she rediscovers the red sled that her mother used to pull her on when she was only three years old. In spite of her Mom's protests, Anna not only drags the sled upstairs to their apartment, but she braves the laughter of her peer group to slide down the hill on it again.

Anna remembers all the wonderful daytime rides she took with her mother, as well as a special night when her Mom pulled her through the snowy dark to see the stars. There's a certain memory of a wish that always comes true if it's spilled from the big dipper. It's that memory, recalled by Anna aloud, that makes mother get a funny look on her face as she too remembers their sledding days together. That night, both mother and daughter have a wish come true.

The illustrations are perfect for the story. They are softly coloured, which heightens the nostalgic feeling, and the faces show a variety of emotions. The drawings cover both pages while the print is unobtrusively incorporated into them. In fact, the dual appeal of words and pictures makes this an excellent choice for reading aloud.

Anna's Red Sled is Patricia Quinlan's fourth book for children. This story was inspired by her own earliest memories of the joy of being pulled on a sled.

Patricia Fry, Port Credit, ON.
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