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Thompson, Richard
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes Toronto, Annick Press, 1992. 48pp, library binding, ISBN 1-55037-215-7 (library binding) $15.95, ISBN 1-55037-212-2 (paper) $7.95. Distributed by Firefly Books. CIP

Pre-school to Grade 2/Ages 3 to 7

Reviewed by Ila D. Scott

Volume 20 Number 5
1992 October

This collection of six short stories and six poems would be a wonderful adjunct to the nightly bedtime ritual. Just the right balance of gentle humour, whimsical imagination and quiet security is reached in each of the selections. The poems are short with easy rhythms and rhyme schemes. Some promote conversation with the listening child, while others merely provide a gentle verbal rocking designed to bring on sleep.

The stories are longer in length and most centre on the theme of the natural reluctance of a child to go to bed. However, the dream world, filled with flights of fancy on flying horses and magic carpets, is interwoven in these comforting and fun stories. The large full-colour illustrations accompanying the text are excellent. Fernandes has employed a variety of art styles and media. Her multi-ethnic characters and droll animals composed in pictures of intricate detail, warmth and humour will be enjoyed by parents and children alike.

Although the book successfully accomplishes what it sets out to do, it should be noted that five of the six stories have female protagonists with their mothers playing dominant roles; fathers figure only briefly in supportive roles. However, this delightful book is still recommended for purchase for use with young children.

Ila D. Scott is Assistant Reference/Collections Librarian at the Herbert T. Coutts Library, University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Alberta

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