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Donia Blumenfeld Clenman and Martin Clenman

Flowerfield & Littleman, 1989. Audio cassette, 43 minutes, stereo, Dolby, $10.98
Flowerfield & Littleman, Box 2613, Postal Station F, 3020 Bridletowne Circle, Scarborough, Ont. M1W 3P2
Scenes from Childhood is also available in book form. 32pp, paper, $10.95, ISBN 0-9693352-2-9. CIP

Grades 1 to 3/Ages 6 to 8
Reviewed by Christine Buchanan.

Volume 18 Number 6
1990 November

This tape might be described as a mood piece. Thirteen short poems written and narrated by Donia Clenman are interspersed with Schumann piano pieces played by her husband Martin Clenman. (Side two contains longer sections from Schumann's Opus 12.)

The poems try to capture the essence of childhood and deal with both fantasies and common events such as falling asleep, being naughty, hearing a noisy train. They are very warm and well meaning, but rather sentimental and precious. The constant emphasis on the childish sense of wonder seems forced and cloying, and strikes one as coming from an adult perspective rather than an authentic childhood perception. The verses seem designed for younger children, and yet the longer Schumann pieces might not hold their attention.

This sincere but ultimately unsuc­cessful tape would have limited use in most libraries or schools. There are probably individual children to whom this recording might have appeal — perhaps in a home setting where parents could play sections or pick out one or two poems as appropriate. However, in general, it is not recommended.

Christine Buchanan, Toronto, Ont.
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