Beverley Allinson. Illustrated by Barbara Reid.
Volume 19 Number 4
Effie is a small ant with a big problem. Her voice is so loud that whenever she speaks everyone runs to get away from the noise. Effie is very lonely until one day she spots an elephant's foot descending on the ants who had run away from her that same morning. Effie's booming voice saves them all from being crushed, and she and the elephant become friends. Not a terribly original plot, but one which young children will nonetheless enjoy.
What makes the book totally irresistible is the wonderful artwork of Barbara Reid, of Playing with Plasticine ¹ fame. Her skilful use of plasticine to produce texture, colour and detail brings the characters in the story to life. (The grasshopper is wearing red Converse.) Interest is further added by such design details as printing all Effie's words in large bold-face type and the caterpillar's words wiggling across the page.
This book would make a wonderful introduction to an art lesson for Junior grades and would certainly inspire children of all ages to explore the medium of plasticine. The book would also fit nicely into a Primary unit on insects.
Terri MacLean, Elora Junior Public School, Elora, ON.
¹ Reviewed vol. XVII/1 January 1989, p.28.
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