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Glaze, Dave
Regina, Coteau Books, 1993. 106pp, paper, $4.95
ISBN 1-55050-049-X. CIP

Grades 5 to 7 / Ages 10 to 12

Reviewed by Donna Doyle

Volume 21 Number 6
1993 November

Sandra's dad lost his job when the mill closed, and he and Sandra had to move to Saskatoon so he could take a course. Sandra didn't want to leave her grandmother, who raised her, or her school friends, but she had no choice.

The young girl discovers a place by the river that reminds her of home. She also makes an unusual friend, a pelican that stays all alone while the rest of the flock flies south for the winter.

Dave Glaze uses his knowledge of children from fifteen years of teaching and his interest in the environment as writer/ editor for the Saskatchewan Environmental Society to tell a well-thought-out story of how both Sandra and Pelly help each other through a long, cold, lonely winter.

Sandra's dad doesn't want her spending too much time down at the river, but he can't always be with her. Pelly needs Sandra to bring food. Sandra needs to reach out to others in the community for help.

Protecting Pelly isn't easy: the river freezes over in winter and a group of neighbourhood kids wants to kill her and sell her to a taxidermist. Sandra's persistence and a little help from her visiting grandmother ensure Pelly's survival and even turn her father's thinking around.

The story is set in a cold, bleak environment, an image supported by black-and-white illustrations by Bill Johnson, but the story is one of warm, caring relationships. The characters are realistically portrayed and relevant to today's broader concept of "family."

Pelly is recommended by the Canadian Children's Book Centre and also by me.

Donna Doyle is a freelance writer in Rocky Bay, Nova Scotia, and a member of the Eastern Counties Regional Library Board
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