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Andreas Greve
Illustrated by Kitty Macaulay
Toronto, Annick Press, 1993. 24pp, paper
ISBN 1-55037-319-6 (paper) $4.95, ISBN 1-55037-288-2 (library binding) $14.95. Distributed by Firefly Books. CIP.

Pre-school to Grade 1 / Ages 3 to 6

Reviewed by Theo Hersh.

Volume 21 Number 5
1993 October

Author Andreas Greve states that his grandfather was a marvellous story-teller. Asked about his own story, he says, "Oh, I don't know. It's essentially a. tale about everybody arriving and then leaving again."

The Good Night Story opens invitingly:

No one was better at telling a good night story than Grampa.
When he spoke about boats, the bed started dipping and rising. When he talked about knights, you could hear their armour rattling, and when he just mentioned the sun boiling down on the Sahara desert, you had to go for a glass of water right away.

Then the story within the story begins, and it is as trite as motherhood and apple pie and as dull as dishwater. The inner story is about a hunter in the woods. As Grampa names the animals the hunter is stalking, they arrive one by one. Grampa falls asleep and the animals and the boy go out to finish the story on their own. They stalk the hunter and eat his snacks. The boy then begins to tell the story to the hunter and the animals. They drop off to sleep one by one and the boy runs home. He climbs into bed and falls asleep, too.

The cartoonlike illustrations that accom­pany this text are humorous and winsome — just what the story is not. The illustrations alone cannot save this tedious text. The Good Night Book is not one with which to entertain a child daytime or night.

Theo Hersh is a children's librarian with the Toronto Public Library in Toronto, Ontario.
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