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Richard Thompson
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Willowdale (Ont.) Annick Press, 1991. 32pp, library binding, ISBN 1-55037-154-1 (library binding), $14.95, ISBN 1-55037-152-5 (paper), $4.95. CIP

Pre-school to Grade 2/Ages 3 to 7

Reviewed by Marion Scott.

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

Thompson and Fernandes are familiar collaborators on Canadian children's picture-books (Fool, Sky Full of Babies). Unfortunately, their latest effort is undistinguished. The rambling story has Maggee, a young girl, come upon Kawartha the frog and The Bird at their lakeside cabin. They stage a talent show and Kawartha is so caught up in this that he forgets his duties as lake minder. When the lake clogs and almost floods, Maggee and The Bird come to the rescue, a chastened Kawartha promises to do better, and all three remain friends.

Thompson's tale is contrived and lacks conviction. Events have no real connection with each other, and the characters are not memorable. Fernandes' illustrations, done in water and earth tones, are somewhat more successful and do have some appeal.

Thompson and Fernandes have enjoyed some popularity with previous titles, and for this reason some libraries may wish to consider purchase for their paperback browsing collections. However, there are better edited and more substantial picture-books available for the intended pre-school to grades 1 to 2 audience, and I cannot recommend this title for any library or school's core collection.

Marion Scott, Toronto Public Library, Toronto, Ont.
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