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Lydia Bailey
Illustrated by Sylvie Daigneault
Toronto, HarperCollins, 1992. 32pp, galley, $15.95
ISBN 0-00-223754-7. CIP

Kindergarten to Grade 3/Ages 5 to 8

Reviewed by Hugh A. Cook

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

In this story Mother Nature seems to be synonymous with the sun and warmth. When she sees that people pay no attention to how they use or abuse the land, Mother Nature decides to leave. She packs her bags and takes a fast bird to Florida.

For some reason no one can find her. Sue, a well-liked little girl who lives in a cottage on the edge of the forest and plays her flute to please the animals of the area, finally decides that, since no one else can find Mother Nature, she had better do something about it, and so she does. Through thoughtfulness and kindness she convinces those she meets to help her in her quest for Mother Nature. Since the inhabitants of the valley have cleaned up their act and the valley only awaits the return of warmth. Sue is able to convince Mother Nature to return. The story ends with everyone living in peace and harmony. If only we could be so lucky!

The story-line is not unlike some others I have read on this theme; however, it is very pleasantly presented. The water-colour illustrations are excellent. Most are at least half a page in size and there is at least one such illustration per facing pages. Soft blues and light browns have been used to express the lack of warmth, and reds and greens herald the return of Mother Nature.

This would be an attractive book to have as part of an environmental study package. It is not rich in pointing out environmental issues but it is an artistic effort that comple­ments the topic. It would be a welcome addition for the Primary teacher who is endeavouring to present a unit on improving our environment.

Hugh A. Cook, Maple, Ont.

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