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Barbara Feldman

Toronto, Annick Press, 1989. 22pp, cloth, ISBN 1-55037-046-4 (paper) $4.95, 1-55037-045-6 (cloth) $12.95
Distributed by Firefly. (Annick Toddler series). CIP

Reviewed by Jane Robinson.

Volume 18 Number 3
1990 May

Barbara Feldman is a wonderfully talented fabric artist, whose fabric applique" art style in Going, Going displays painstaking intricacy and zealous attention to detail and colour. But this medium is at odds with and cannot be fully appreciated in the flat, two-dimensional format of the picture-book. Even though the diversified settings depicted throughout the story are busy with activity and rich with colour, artwork of this type, by its very nature, cries out to be touched.

A picture-book, on the other hand, by its nature, needs to be "felt" through the story, the language and the characters. Going, Going is a simple story of an energetic mother who learns to drive so that she and her son can continue their everyday adventures and travels together. The narrative starts out as rhythmic but quickly becomes stilted, even disjointed at times. Sentences are so simple in structure that the story lacks flow. In startling contrast to the illustrations, the language is completely devoid of colour. Neither the language nor the characters seem to be able to break out of the still-life effect that has been created.

There is so much promised in this book upon first glance - promised but not realized in picture-book format. Recommended only as a lap book for parents and children, one on one, to go through and discover the treasures within Barbara Feldman's unique art form.

Jane Robinson, Winnipeg, Man.
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