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Jane Baskwill
Illustrated by Kathy R. Kaulbach

Halifax, Wildthings Press, 1990. 32pp, paper, $5.95, ISBN 0-929065-00-X
Distributed by Nimbus Publishing Ltd., 3731 MacKintosh St., P.O. Box 9301, Station A, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3K 5N5. CIP

Pre-school to Grade3/Ages4 to 8
Reviewed by Ray Doiron.

Volume 19 Number 2
1991 March

In this collection of thirty-four poems arranged into thirteen themes, Baskwill has evoked many of the experiences of the young child's world. The book is presented as an invitation to explore the fun and adventure of playing detective, dressing up, exploring your neighbour­hood, collecting small treasures, and discovering the wonders of nature. Most of the poems are written with a keen ear for the child's sense of rhythm but some need to be re-read several times before the rhythm of the language is clear. In a few instances the words seem chosen to fit the rhyme and break the natural rhythm of the poem.

Baskwill's experience as a teacher is reflected in the use of typical themes found in pre-school and Primary classrooms, and many of the poems invite children to take part in choral readings and shared readings. The opening poem "Open a Book" and the ending poem "Pass the Poems Please" are strong motivators to encourage beginning readers to make reading in general and poetry in particular part of their everyday life.

The black-and-white illustrations by Kathy R. Kaulbach are inspired by the content of the poems but they go beyond them by illustrating lots of further activities for children. They demonstrate that children's books don't always need full-colour illustrations to be effective.

Although this book is only available in paperback binding, parents of pre­schoolers and Primary teachers will find the book enjoyable and useful. This book is the first publication from this new publisher, Wildthings Press, and it holds the promise of more good books for children.

Ray Doiron, Glen Stewart Elementary School, Southport, P.E.I.
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