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Lohans, Alison
Richmond Hill (Ont.), Scholastic Canada, 1992. 75pp, paper, $3.95, ISBN 0-590-71671-9. CIP

Grades 4 to 6/Ages 9 to 11

Reviewed by Alison Mews

Volume 20 Number 4
1992 September

This latest title in Scholastic Canada's "Shooting Star" series tells the story of J.J. (Jeremy Johnson), a typical and likeable kid, who has to cope with unwelcome disruptions in his life when Aunt Pru comes for an extended stay. J.J. disapproves of Aunt Pru, partly because she's old and smells like medicine, but mostly because she's occupying his bedroom, while he has to sleep with his baby sister. J.J. considers and discards many get-rid-of-Aunt-Pru schemes before deciding to employ common germs to force her to leave. The secret plan backfires, of course, and in the process J.J. develops a special relationship with his great-aunt.

Divided into ten short chapters, this episodic and amusing narrative would make an excellent classroom or bedtime read-aloud. Lohans obviously has an intimate knowledge of young children (both Jeremy's thought processes and the baby's behaviour are very familiar to this reviewer), and her liberal use of onomatopoeia lends itself well to verbal expression. She has a story-teller's sense of timing, and several anecdotes (such as the kitten falling into the bath and J.J.'s misadventures with mud) will have the children in stitches.


Alison Mews is Co-ordinator of the Centre for Instructional Services, Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, in St. John's, Newfoundland.

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