CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Jirina Marton
Toronto, Annick Press, 1992. 22pp, cloth, $15.95
ISBN 1-55037-221-1. Distributed by Firefly Books. CIP

Kindergarten to Grade 3/Ages 5 to 8

Reviewed by Brenda Partridge

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

Amelia wants to stay up for her mother's birthday celebration. Although her parents refuse, she embarks on her own celebration and adventure. She wanders down the street in the late evening to visit a friend and returns when she discovers the friend's house in darkness. Still hiding from her parents, Amelia watches the birthday festivities until she falls asleep. In the meantime, the party ends and Amelia's parents discover that she is missing. Amelia awakes and joins her parents on the patio, and they dance together, promising her that she will be allowed to stay up as long as she likes the next time there is a party.

The outcome of this story disturbs me. The child intentionally disobeys her parents, wanders away after dark to another home in the neighbourhood, and wins the complete victory of choosing how long she will stay up for the next celebration. Is there a hidden message here? Has something been left unsaid?

Author and illustrator Jirina Marton uses rich descriptive passages and vivid, childlike drawings effectively to create a picturesque outdoor setting:

It was a rare summer evening. The sun was setting and the moon appeared in the sky. Slowly the night came on.....
The moon left the sky over the garden. The stars turned pale and the sun slowly got ready for its daily trip across the sky. The morning dew sparkled in the grass. A beautiful new day was about to begin.

Amelia's celebration unfolds between the opening and closing descriptions quoted above. Marton's extensive use of red and blue in her illustrations creates a mood of evening festivity marked by childlike curiosity. The festive mood is sustained by narrative that flows easily.

Jirina Marton's art has been exhibited in several countries around the world.

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

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