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Thompson, Richard
Illustrated by Francoise Durham-Moulin Toronto, Annick Press, 1992. 22pp, library binding, ISBN 1-55037-245-9 (library binding) $14.95, ISBN 1-55037-246-7 (paper) $4.95. Distributed by Firefly Books. CIP

Grades Pre-school to Grade 2/Ages 3 to 7

Reviewed by Brenda Partridge

Volume 20 Number 5
1992 October

Richard Thompson's daughter Jesse has been the inspiration for many of his previous stories. In Sky Full of Babies, Gurgle, Bubble, Splash?, I Have to See This and Jesse on the Night Train, younger readers have been able to relate to the stars of Thompson's tales. His latest heroine, Jill, is just learning how to print letters. When she asks her father what the letters say, he tells her "Jogero." Jill decides that a jogero is a kind of creature.

Jill's imagination creates adventures for the Jogero that are clearly illustrated by the detailed artwork of Francoise Durham-Moulin. In a style reminiscent of Barbara Reid's, she molds the Jogero in varying shades of pink and places it on backgrounds of brilliant colour. The Jogero gets into mischief, which is described with inventive vocabulary such as "Gejjic," "Boj" and "Zaxxxil."

As an adult reading the story to myself, I was very distracted by the creative vocabulary. I spent more time trying to find a pattern to the letters and derive some meaning from them than I did with the comprehension of the story. With its original language, reading this story aloud was not easy.

The story seems to lack a clear focus not unlike the mind of a young child. Jill and her dad learn what the words she invented mean to the Jogero as it experiments with her commands in the backyard. The Jogero's owner reclaims the creature and life goes on.

I am adding this book to my collection because of the illustrations. Any child would be inspired by their clarity and could invent his or her own story.

Brenda Partridge is a library-resource teacher at Percy Centennial Public School in Warkworth, Ontario

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