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Itah Sadu
Illustrated by Roy Condy
Richmond Hill (Ont.), Scholastic Canada, 1993. 32pp, paper, $4.95
ISBN 0-590-74034-2. CIP

Kindergarten to Grade 4/Ages 5 to 9

Reviewed by Brenda Partridge.

Volume 21 Number 4
1993 September

Christopher is a young man who helps his neighbours, does chores, is good at sports, and comes first in his class. However, Christopher has one bad habit - he will not clean up his room!

The socks under the bed were cheesy
the sandwich behind the door grew fungi
the room was so untidy
the shoes smelled funky funky
and the fish bowl stank!

Christopher's mother, father and grand­mother refuse to go into his room, and his friends have nightmares when they sleep over. Even the wind will not blow through his room.

The two goldfish become worried about their health because the water has not been changed in weeks. They elicit the help of a single cockroach. The cockroach gathers thousands of his friends and, with their gas masks in place, they teach Christopher a lesson!

Itah Sadu, a Canadian story-teller, employs a theme that is well known to children of all ages and cultures. She uses exaggeration to effectively create a humorous tale with a message parents will appreciate.

The book cover explains that Sadu draws on the activities of Toronto's West Indian community and on the story-telling traditions of Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica in her stories. Her previous works include a recording, Rappin' Stories, and a picture-book, How the Coconut Got its Face(Carib-Can Publishers, 1988).

Roy Condy adds large, energetic, enthusiastic, colourful drawings to bring out the humour and to add to the exaggeration. The facial expressions of the goldfish are excellent indicators of the mood of the story as it swings from desperation to contentment. His previous work in children's books includes How to Get Rid of Bad Dreams, The Canadian Limerick Book (General Publishing, 1975) and What Will They Think of Next?

Itah Sadu and Roy Condy have combined their talents in a book that will be welcome in homes, classrooms and libraries.

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