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Produced and written by Jean Thompson, 1989
VHS casette, 22:00 min., $89.00. Code: #360-31-100.
Distributed by Magic Lantern Communications, Unit #38,775 Pacific Road, Oakville, Ontario L6L 6M4.

Grades 7 to 9/Ages 12 to 14
Reviewed by Marietta Evans.

Volume 19 Number 2
1991 March

Wendy Walker and her family visit Great Aunt Alice at the cottage. The story takes place on a summer's day as seen through Wendy's adolescent eyes. Going to the cottage is a typical Cana­dian experience. Here we watch Wendy's family, including the grand­mother, at the cottage interact with each other. The grandmother is not delighted with Aunt Alice's rustic country domicile nor does she approve of her living alone.

As a dramatic presentation this story lacks structure, conflict and finally interest for the viewer. There are the normal everyday tensions exhibited between mother and father, and parents and their children. But through all of this Wendy is a mere observer. This kind of slow-moving production would work much better as a piece of literature than as a dramatic presentation. The interior thoughts of Wendy are not obvious to the viewer. Although by the end of the day a bond has developed between Wendy and her great aunt, we the viewers are never quite sure why or how this happened.

If the intended audience is young adults this video would not hold their interest. Fortunately, there are many good Canadian short stories that would lend themselves to adaptation in film or video much better than this tale.

Not recommended.

Marietta Evans, Barrie Public Library, Barrie, Ont.
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