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Illustrated by Thoreau Macdonald

Waterloo (Ont.), Penumbra Press, 1990. 140pp, paper, $20.00, ISBN 0-921254-10-5. (Limited cloth edition, signed and numbered by Wade Hemsworth, ISBN 0-921254-15-4, $70.00). CIP

Grades 7 and up/Ages 12 and up
Reviewed by Lisa Blackburn.

Volume 19 Number 2
1991 March

Wade Hemsworth has been a force on the Canadian folk-music scene for more than three decades. His many original songs have been recorded by the likes of Pete Seeger, The Travellers, and Kate and Anna McGarrigle, who wrote the foreword to this edition.

This collection of fifteen songs is profusely illustrated with graceful black-and-white drawings by Thoreau Macdonald. The lyrics are printed in both French and English (translation by Philippe Tatartcheff) and are annotated by Wade Hemsworth himself.

The musical text is written for piano only. Any teacher with three or four years of piano training can easily manage, and there is a simplified version of the melody above each piece for quick sight reading.

As for the songs themselves, they are for the most part engaging Canadiana. Given the complexity of some of the issues described in the songs - "Remember Moose Mountain" describes the effects of industrial development on local people - this book is not appro­priate for children below grade six. But eleven- and twelve-year-olds will enjoy the class discussion inspired by the lyrics, the four-language whirl of "Montreal" and the charming "Log Driver's Waltz," familiar to many who have seen the NFB short film it inspired.

Lisa Blackburn, Ottawa, Ont.
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