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Christel Kleitsch
Illustrated by True Kelley
New York, Button Children's Books, 1993. 62pp, cloth, $14.99
ISBN 0-525-45058-0. Distributed by McClelland & Stewart. CIP.

Grades 1 to 3 / Ages 6 to 8

Reviewed by Trina Preece.

Volume 21 Number 5
1993 October

This is a rare and wonderful treat: an interesting chapter book for beginning readers - with a great Canadian setting as well!

The plot is simple: Rachel is invited to go to Florida with a friend, but her parents insist that she accompany them to Pickle Lake for a more energetic cottage holiday. Reluctant at first to join her father's trip down memory lane, Rachel is finally won over when she gains a feeling of accomplishment by climbing the difficult Silver Peak. The story is fleshed out with some very satisfying images of a family holiday: the first night's realiza­tion of both stars and mosquitoes, deciding what to do with the day over breakfast, a final moon dance on the beach.

One of the reasons for the book's appeal is its illustrations. The numerous line drawings are both humorous and lively.

Words and pictures are beautifully integrated using a combination of typeset and handwritten text; the latter appears, always legibly, in very young reader-friendly balloons above the characters' heads. The overall effect is a credit to both designer and illustrator: vibrant, friendly pages that draw the reader along through the story.

This is a wonderful book for anyone eager to inspire beginning readers.

Trina Preece is a children's librarian in Scarborough, Ontario.
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