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Stephane Poulin
Waterloo (Que.), Quintin Publishers, 1991. 24pp, cloth, $12.95
ISBN 2-920438-9103. Distributed by University of Toronto Press. Available in French as . C1P

Junior Kindergarten to Grade 3/Ages 4 to 8

Reviewed by Janice Foster

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

The award-winning picture-book Album de famille (Les editions Michel Quintin, 1986) is now available in English. Album de famille won the 1986 Children's Literature Prize (illustration) awarded by the Canadian Council and the Quebec-Brussels Children's Literature Prize in 1990. Animals in Winter is the other title in the series.

On first examining this book, the reader is struck by the unique style of the colourful illustrations. Stephane Poulin has cleverly created a family album of pictures of mammals. The supposedly world-famous animal photographer, Mr. Click, is depicted busy at work trying to photograph several mammals belonging to the same species.

Each colourful, comical, double-page illustration shows a variety of members belonging to the same mammal family and gives the family's scientific classification. The book concludes with a two-page text briefly explaining the characteristics of mammals and how they arc grouped by family, a classification system developed by Linnaeus the eighteenth century. The last page of the book identifies each animal.

The uniqueness of Family Album lies in the variety of ways it can be used. It can introduce young children to the characteris­tics of mammals and provide an interesting selection of pictures of the latter. Unfortu­nately, only a limited number of families are shown. Since it is principally a picture-book, pre-readers can enjoy both the content and the humour without relying on the text. It is an excellent springboard for discussion. For slightly older readers, it serves as a vehicle to discuss the concept of grouping and classify­ing. All in all, this delightful book is a novel addition to young children's literature.

Janice Foster, Winnipeg, Man.

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