CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Jo Bannatyne-Cugnet
Illustrated by Leslie Bell
Red Deer (Alta.), Red Deer College Press,
1993. 30pp,cloth, $14.95, ISBN 0-88995-09 7-0.
(Northern Lights Books for Children).
Distributed by Raincoast Book Distribution. CIP

Grades 2-3 / Ages 7-8

Reviewed by Pat Butler

Volume 22 Number 3
1994 May / June

This story introduces us to Estelle, who because she cannot tie her shoelaces, has been sent by her teacher to the Self-Esteem Machine. (How the machine can rectify the situation is not immediately indicated.) In the line-up for the machine, she meets a fat lady, a mousy man, and a chef who has just lost his creativity, among others. Even Ms. Guided (Estelle's teacher) joins the line-up bemoaning her inability to teach Estelle the rudiments of bow-tying. When the machine breaks down, no one knows what to do until someone suggests that they ask an older person what was done in the "olden" days. Estelle then learns the value of a support group, and the link between encouragement and self-confidence.

The inspiration for the book derives from the desire to provide an antidote to the: following statistic: "more than 90 percent of what children hear from their teachers is negative" (no source quoted). While the intention seems admirable, the rather heavy-handed approach offers little in fhe way of story-line and leaves the target group thinking self-esteem is something to be found in a large shed rather than inside oneself.

This would be a possible purchase for a large, well-rounded collection.

Patricia L.M. Butler is a freelance librarian in Vancouver, British Columbia

line indexes



The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

francaisDigital Collections / Collections Numérisees francais