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Allix Hereward
Illustrated by Graham Bardell
Don Mills (Ont.), Oxford University Press, 1991. 32pp, galley, $14.95
ISBN 0-19-5407814 (laminated boards). CIP

Grades 6 and up/Ages 11 and up

Reviewed by Alison Mews.

Volume 19 Number 4
1991 September

This is a collection of humorous poetry about thirteen young jungle creatures who are misfits amongst their kind. Children will identify with little Suzie, the snake with the lisp, or with Lily the leopard cub, who tries to scrub off her spots. While the poems gener­ally have an amusing ending, many of them conceal an exaggerated moralistic lesson such as the crocodile whose penchant for sweets takes a toll on his teeth, and the vain centipede whose pride becomes his downfall.

The rhymes themselves are fairly lengthy and contain vocabulary and concepts beyond the normal picture-book audience. In particular, the political satire of the Conservative zebra, the pink panther and the Liberal chimp is quite sophisticated and would be appreciated more by high school students and adults.

The absurdity of the verses is extended visually by the wild and fantastic illustrations. Bardell has captured the character of each animal and with bold, sure strokes has por­trayed its essence in an explosion of colour. The author and illustrator have together created an inviting book of comic rhymes for older children.

Alison Mews, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Nfld.
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