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Tessier, Tess
Illustrated by Janice Sheehan Penticton (B.C.), Rainbow Dogooders Publishing Co., 1989. 24pp, cloth, ISBN 0-9694298-0-0, $12.95. Distributed by Rainbow Dogooders Publishing Co., 2645 McKenzie St., Penticton, B.C. V2A 6J1.

Kindergarten to Grade 2/Ages 5 to 7

Reviewed by Marion Scott

Volume 18 Number 5
1990 September

First-time author Tess Tessier travels Canada and the U.S.A. visiting classrooms, seniors homes, and rehabilitation centres with a message of harmony and peace. She travels in a fuschia-coloured motorhome (Honeybee) and her travel companions are eleven canines, many adopted from the SPCA. She calls them the Rainbow Dogooders.

This story, privately published, is the first in what is intended to be a series of the Rainbow Dogooders adventures. Told by Gigi the poodle terrier, it details a journey to the high Arctic where Gigi and Tess visit an Inuit family at their summer camp, spend an afternoon fishing in the Arctic Ocean, and drink tea made from iceberg chips.

The story is a vehicle for Tessier's philosophy of sharing and caring. It does depict arctic life and nature in a positive way, and is not without interest for five- to seven-year-old children. However, it is quite long and anecdotal, particularly for this age group, and lacks a strong sense of character, story or adventure, which might otherwise sustain interest. Tighter editing would have greatly benefited the tale.

The illustrations by film animator and printmaker Janice Sheehan are appealing: they are nicely designed and capture the bright colours of arctic summer.

This is a well-meant effort with a few positive features. However, I would not recommend it for core library and classroom collections.

Marion Scott, Toronto Public Library, Toronto, Ont.

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