CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Charlotte Hutchinson
Illustrated by Brenda Jones
Charlottetown, Ragweed Press, 1991. 24pp, paper, $5.95
ISBN 0-921556-18-7. CIP

Pre-school to Grade 1/Ages 3 to 6

Reviewed by Joan Skogan

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

Mr. Sweetums Wears Pink, with a cover featuring a picture of its star orange tomcat, suitably framed in pink, is a first book from writer Charlotte Hutchinson and the fifth illustrated by Brenda Jones. The difference in experi­ence, and perhaps in editorial attention to pictures rather than text, is evident. The generous, richly coloured and often humorous illustrations overwhelm a story that doesn't quite work on either a completely realistic or a fantasy level.

Mr. Sweetums wears pink because he belongs to three little girls who dress him in a miraculously fitting miniature pink ballet tutu just like theirs. While he eventually becomes reconciled to his lot - "You see, Mr. Sweetums loves to dance. When the three girls practice their ballet, Mr. Sweetums stays awake and watches. He pretends not to, but he really does watch - very carefully" - the ending is somewhat ambiguous, as Mr. Sweetums, who is undeniably male, dances female roles in a girl's costume.

Children six and under will likely be won by the fine and funny illustrations and may not care at all that Mr. Sweetums is being coerced into more than wearing a pink ballet costume. Teachers and librarians will care, however, about trite ("a funny little boy or girl") and ungrammatical phrases in the text.

Joan Skogan, Vancouver, B.C.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copyright information for reviewers

francaisDigital Collections / Collections Numérisees francais