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Gertrude Story
Saskatoon (Sask.), Thistledown Press, 1993. 48pp, galley, $6.00
ISBN 0-895449-030-0. CIP

Grades 2 to 4/Ages 7 to 9

Reviewed by Adele M. Fasick.

Volume 21 Number 4
1993 September

Two unrelated stories make up this slight volume. The first tells of Lulubelle, a "spritely little spirit-sprite," whose conversation consists almost entirely of "I don't wanna" until she meets an unhappy child. The child is crying because she has three eyes and other children don't want to play with someone as different as she is. She and Lulubelle like each other and promise to be friends.

The second story tells of Rowena, a girl from Saskatchewan cow country. Rowena is an only child and even though her mother teaches her to read and write, Rowena would like to go to school and meet other children. Unfortunately, although her mother wants her to go to school, her father thinks that is unnecessary. Through the help of Rowena's invisible friend, Sir Percival, Rowena and her mother persuade her father that Rowena doesn't know how to add two and two. Shocked by the display of ignorance, the father consents to Rowena's going to school.

Although a talented story-teller might make these stories come alive, they do not succeed in a book. The plots are thin and unsatisfying. This is marginal material that few libraries will want to add to their collections.

Adele M. Fasick is with the Faculty of Library and Information Science at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario.
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