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Lindsay Grater
Toronto, Lesler Publishing, 1991. 32pp, cloth, $18.95
ISBN 1-89555-12-4. CIP

Kindergarten to Grade 3/Ages 5 to 8

Reviewed by Patricia LM. Butler

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

In these days of loot bags, tailor-made parties, and otherwise totally "getting"-oriented children's events, it is refreshing to find a book that reinforces the joy of giving, and giving from the materials at hand.

When their cousins are to be married, Mother, Father, Rollo and Rosie Hippo set out across the jungle with carefully selected gifts to present to the new couple. Eventually, all their store-bought gifts are destroyed by ants, crocodiles, and even jungle roses. In the end, the Hippos must rely upon their ingenuity and the resources of the jungle to provide their offerings to the bride and groom. But what gifts! A choir of brightly coloured birds, table decorations drawn from jungle bounty, and glorious, tasty fruit for the guests.

The sumptuous illustrations provide both child and adult with a plethora of detail. Intricate floral designs give way to the tiny details that young fingers delight in pointing out again and again - a caterpillar on a vine, a parakeet in a tree, or Rollo's pet hippo poking its head out of a pocket.

This book carries the delightful message that giving is indeed more enjoyable than receiving, and the gifts that mean the most come from the imagination and, more importantly, the heart.

Patricia LM. Butler, Scarborough, Ont.

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