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Robert McConnell
Illustrated by James Watling

Toronto, Napoleon Publishing, 1990. 48pp, cloth, $19.95
ISBN 0-929141-01-6. CIP

Kindergarten to Grade 3/Ages 5 to 8
Reviewed by Patricia Fry.

Volume 19 Number 2
1991 March

Nip and Tuck are two beaver pups who want to help build their new dam and lodge, but their parents decide the twins are too young to be working. It takes an emergency - a break in the dam when the parents are away visiting - to give the would-be builders their first opportunity.

This familiar theme of youngsters achieving a certain level of maturity is charmingly told in sixty-two stanzas. The poetic format makes this book an excellent read-aloud choice because the youngsters begin to anticipate the completing rhyme.

Nip and Tuck surveyed
The damage with care.
Instead of strong branches,
Now a large hole was there.

Unless something was done
And done very fast
Their home would be gone
For the dam couldn't last.

The colourful illustrations by artist James Watling breathe life into the story by creating intriguing personae for the animal characters. The artwork is spread over both facing pages through­out the book and in one picture of the storm that damages the dam, the illustration ousts the text completely.

Watling is currently a professor of art at McGill University. His illustrations have appeared in numerous books and magazines during the years. Robert McConnell is a prolific author of both books and textbooks. His publications for children include Norbert Nipkin (2nd ed.; Napoleon Publishing, 1989), Norbert Nipkin and the Magic Riddle Stone (Napoleon Publishing, 1990), The Strawberry Jam and Boid and the Bullies.

Patricia Fry, Port Credit, Ont.
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