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Ardyth Brott
Illustrated by Michael Martchenko

Don Mills (Ont.), Oxford University Press, 1990. 32pp, laminated boards, $14.95
ISBN 0-19-540775-X. CIP

Kindergarten to Grade 3/Ages 5 to 8
Reviewed by Linda Holeman.

Volume 18 Number 6
1990 November

Jeremy's father is famous. Jeremy loves and admires him, and he is thrilled to go to his concerts and watch him conduct the orchestra. There's just one problem. Everyone keeps asking Jeremy if he's going to be a "famous musician" like his father. Jeremy just doesn't have an answer. He doesn't want to hurt his father's feelings by saying no, and he doesn't want to lie and say yes; he mumbles "I don't know" and feels miserable.

After one unpleasant evening when he is asked the dreaded question four times in a row, Jeremy suddenly realizes he does know the answer about his future. He announces he's going to be a paleontologist and study dinosaur bones. He feels wonderful... and what makes his decision even better is the fact that his parents are delighted with his choice. The final pages show us a blissful grown-up Jeremy, listening to music and hard at work digging bones, while his sister Allegra is busy herself — as a famous conductor!

Ardyth Brott's charming story, her first picture-book, is based on her own family experiences. It reassures children that they shouldn't feel pressured to make the choices they think are ex­pected of them. It is important to listen to your heart; what is right for one is not always best for another. Allegra's destiny is a pleasant reminder that talent and choice of profession are never restricted to one gender.

Martchenko has once again created wonderfully appropriate illustrations to accompany an amusing text. His work will be familiar to children who are fans of Robert Munsch and Allen Morgan.

Linda Holeman, Winnipeg, Man.
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