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Robert McConnell
Illustrated by R.C. Williams

Toronto, Napoleon Publishing, 1990. 48pp, paper, $14.95
ISBN 0-929141-04-0. CIP

Grades 1 to 4/Ages 6 to 9
Reviewed by Linda Holeman.

Volume 19 Number 2
1991 March

This book has a very distinct style. Two of its themes are age old - wanting to be accepted for who you are, and the triumph of brain over brawn. The third is a more "today" theme - that acquir­ing knowledge through reading can help in all facets of daily life.

Boid is a Central Park bird who has been adopted by a human family. He longs to go to school, but his parents are afraid he will be hurt because he is "different." But Boid, who studies the encyclopedias in his father's bookstore to pass the time, insists. After he passes the entrance exam with flying colours, the reticent principal agrees to admit him, although he initially recommended Boid to a school for "special students."

Boid loves school and makes friends, but is tormented by the near-illiterate class bullies, Biff and Boff. The bird eventually makes fools of them, and becomes a happy hero among his friends.

Although Boid and the Bullies has the appearance of a picture-book, there are eight long chapters, and many words are too difficult for the Primary reader. For example, Boid, who speaks only in rhyme, explains his ability to pitch a ball: 'It's just a theory of flight and aerodynamics, with a little bit of quantum mechanics."

Children may enjoy the book's bright, detailed cartoons and Boid's up-beat language. It is not a book for adults who look for a more classic approach to grammar and illustrations in the books they choose for children.

Linda Holeman, Winnipeg, Man.
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