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Jacques Pasquet
Illustrated by Anne Villeneuve
Montreal, Quebec/ Amerique, 1991. 93pp, paper, $7.95
ISBN 2-89037-538-2. CIP

Grades 7 and up/Ages 12 and up

Reviewed by Doris Lemoine

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

Words, in the hands of Jacques Pasquet, are infused with a certain magic. His ability to play with words, to juggle them, to reinvent them into nonsensical stories, always leaves the reader asking himself, Why did I not think of this before, in this way?

In Sans queue ni tete, published by Quebec-Amerique in the collection "dip," Pasquet has created short animal stories, news items and words of wisdom that are guaranteed to provoke laughter. Reading Sans queue ni tete is a must. Otherwise you may never know how an old tom-cat, tired of chasing mice and birds, finally realizes his lifelong dream - to fly. Or why a well-behaved young monkey suddenly starts behaving like an ass. Or why a carnivorous plant family ends up herbiv­ores. Or why a zebra, tired of being behind bars, loses its cool and finds itself "debarred."

A certain command of the French language is needed to be able to appreciate Pasquet's stories fully. But once children have discovered the puns, they will enjoy this type of book because it becomes a challeng­ing game, with laughter as the final reward. In stressful times, I recommend that teachers read this book aloud as an antidote to boredom or as an interlude between two subjects.

The zany humour expressed in Anne Villeneuve's black-and-white illustrations complements the author's humorous style beautifully. If only reading were always this much fun!

Doris Lemoine, Direction des ressources educatives franc.aises, Bureau de l'education francaise, Winnipeg, Man.

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