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Retold and illustrated by Michele Lemieux

Toronto, Kids Can Press, 1991. 32pp, cloth, $14.95
ISBN 1-55074-011-3. CIP

Kindergarten to Grade 3/Ages 5 to 8
Reviewed by Alison Mews

Volume 19 Number 6
1991 November

This retelling of the classic musical fantasy "Peter and the Wolf" is enriched by the vibrant pastels of Michele Lemieux. The story of a fearless boy who outsmarts the wicked wolf is simply and faithfully retold, but it is the illustrations that capture the dramatic moments of the story.

Michele Lemieux has layered her pastels to obtain rich hues of deep blues and greens that intensify the drama of the situations she depicts. Her wolf is suitably lean and hungry looking, with baleful yellow eyes that search for prey. In the scene where he is about to seize and swallow a frantically fleeing duck, the wolf's eyes pick up the symbolic red of the crimson background. Each picture has a staged appearance, like a still life, in which the action seems theatrically frozen. Lemieux has included an illustrated foreword to introduce children to the concept that the characters' voices were played by different instruments.

Michele Lemieux is an accomplished artist who has illustrated other beautiful picture-books, such as A Gift from Saint Francis (by Joanna Cole), Amahl and the Night Visitors (by Gian Carlo Menotti) (Morrow, 1986; Kids Can Press, 1991), and the award-winning Voices on the Wind: Poems for All Seasons (edited by David Booth). She is to be commended for this most recent contribution to the growing body of quality Canadian children's picture-books.

Highly recommended for all Primary classrooms.

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