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H.J. Hutchins
Illustrated by Ruth Ohi
Toronto, Annick Press, 1993. 24pp, paper
ISBN 1-55037-317-X (paper) $5.95, ISBN 1-55037-316-1 (library binding) $15.95. Distributed by Firefly Books. CIP.

Kindergarten to Grade 3/Ages 5 to 8

Reviewed by Gillian Martin Noonan.

Volume 21 Number 5
1993 October

The Catfish Palace is the pet store near Cindy's house. It is a nice, clean place where the animals are well looked after. It also has a mascot, a large catfish, who is kept in a cement container not really big enough for him. This catfish and his home bother Cindy. To her, keeping the catfish in such a small place is not right. So after talking and listening to several adults, she decides to write a letter to the owner of The Catfish Palace about her feelings for the now-dead catfish. Her letter brings about positive results.

Presented in a simple way, Hutchins' story shows young readers that they can have an impact on their world. While the story is not an exciting or a dramatic one, it demonstrates clearly that cruelty to animals can go unnoticed in our society - an important lesson for young minds.

This book would be a very good starting point for discussions with children. It would be most appropriate for late primary/early elementary readers.

Gillian Martin Noonan is a teacher-librarian living in Old Perlican, Newfoundland.
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