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Dave Patterson
Illustrated by Kathy R. Kaulbach

Halifax, Nimbus, 1990. 113pp, paper, $6.95
ISBN 0-921054-36-X. CIP

Grades 3 to 5/Ages 8 to 10
Reviewed by Pearl Herscovitch.

Volume 19 Number 5
1991 October

When Kelly can't convince her mother to let her play baseball, she grudgingly accepts the responsibility of mowing the lawn anything to avoid studying that "dumb ecology stuff." In her attempt to remove a dog bone from the mower, she gets thrown back and the bone strikes her in the head. When she regains consciousness, Kelly finds she has shrunk so much that she barely reaches the roots of a blade of grass. She is soon introduced to Andrew, a worker-ant whose job it is to care for the young. She is given a brief lesson on photosynthesis and plant and insect interdependence and in the last third of the novel is taken for an adventure to Andrew's ant colony.

Andrew proves to be quite the teacher, offering information about pollutants that have destroyed part of the area and regeneration of the soil, and providing a tour through his ant colony. In what proves to be the most exciting part of the story, an attack by red ants finds Andrew defending the queen and meeting his death. With his last breath he touches Kelly's forehead, bringing her back to normal size.

This is a thinly disguised ecology lesson with little attention given to plot and character development. The result is a very awkward, contrived story that will have little appeal for its intended audience.

Pearl Herscovitch, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alta.
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