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Ryan-Lush, Geraldine
Illustrated by Kathy R. Kaulbach St. John's, Breakwater, 1992. 32pp, paper, $8.95, ISBN 1-55081-009-X. CIP

Grades 1 to 3/Ages 6 to 8

Reviewed by Pearl Herscovitch

Volume 20 Number 5
1992 October

Jeremy Jeckles is "a little boy with a big problem." His body is completely covered with freckles, which he attempts to get rid of through a health food diet of "disgusting" foods such as "Marinated Mung Beans with Bone Marrow Gruel." When that doesn't work, he tries sun tanning, but that results in a sunburn. His teacher refers to him as "You with the freckles," and his classmates laugh at him and bar him from the local clubhouse.

One day Jeremy is discovered by advertising tycoons and becomes an overnight success. Bicycles, cereals and a multitude of children's products are named after him. However, wealth and fame leave him lonely, and Jeremy happily returns home when his freckles disappear and he is no longer marketable. Of course, he returns to the honour of having the clubhouse named after him and the joy of hearing his teacher refer to him as "You with the ... ah ... no freckles."

While freckled readers may relate to Jeremy and enjoy this light-hearted approach to a common problem, the author's early reference to Jeremy as a "little boy" will put readers off, as will the unlikely resolution ("he didn't have one freckle"). Large blocks of text are accompanied by cartoonlike illustrations that lack humour and give the characters an awkward, wooden appearance.

Pearl Herscovitch is a curriculum librarian in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta

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