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Hazel Hutchins. Illustrated by Ruth Ohi.
Willowdale, ON: Annick Press, 1990.
unpaged, cloth, $14.95.
ISBN 1-55037-134-7. paper, $5.95. 1-55037-1324. CIP.

Subject Heading:

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7

Reviewed by Marsha Kaiserman.

Volume 19 Number 1
1991 January

It was a rainy day and Nicholas, instead of having twenty-three friends over to play with, went to the library with his mother. Nicholas liked libraries. Where else could he find enough books to build his forts?

Today, however, was different. Hiding behind the O section was a chimpanzee - "the lost-story kind of chimpanzee." Together with the head librarian, guided by the Head Librarians' Manual and wearing the librarians' emergency ring, Nicholas searches through every book in the library for the chimpanzee's home. With difficulty, Nicholas returns the chimpanzee to his story and discovers the joy of reading.

This coming-ofage book is for "everyone who ever read a child a book." There is a magic moment when children discover that books and reading are an adventure rather than a chore to be endured. Hazel Hutchins has captured this moment in a whimsical book appealing to the reader and the listener. Ruth Ohi's water-colour illustrations, as bright and imaginative as the story, contribute to the enjoyment of the reader and listener.

An unfortunate error in the text is somewhat jarring, but did not lessen either my or my children's enjoyment of the book.

Highly recommended.

Marsha Kaiserman, Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, Ottawa, ON.
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