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Margaret Haffner
Illustrated by Marion Taylor
Windsor (Ont.), Black Moss Press, 1991, 10pp, paper, $4.95
ISBN 0-88753-229-2. Distributed by Firefly Books. CIP

Kindergarten to Grade 3/Ages 5 to 8

Reviewed by Brenda Partridge

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

It is the spring of the year and Mary's father has decided to cut down an apple tree in the backyard. Mary believes that the tree has a right to live and more con­sideration should be given to the deci­sion. Her father insists on being told ten reasons to keep the tree or it will go into firewood. Mary has from early spring until late fall to discover the tree's worth.

The level of predictability is very high as Mary tells the reader that the tree can be used for building birds' nests, shading from the heat, as a playground for little toys among the roots, and as a base for a child's swing. The characteris­tics of spring, summer and autumn are reinforced by the changing stages of the apple tree. The fruit is used for apple sauce and the apple blossom nectar for honey. It is during the later part of autumn that Mary discovers her final reason for saving the tree - to create raked piles of leaves for jumping in. Her list of ten reasons is finished and the story abruptly ends.

Throughout the story, the childlike illustrations by Marion Taylor empha­sizes the simplistic, unimaginative story­line. The family is shown in a very traditional fashion. Father is the deci­sion-maker and Mother is portrayed as the stay-at-home keeper of the house, with her mop and her apron. This first children's book of Margaret Haffner's has limited appeal and confined use.

Brenda Partridge, Percy Centennial Public School, Warkworth, Ont.
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