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Phoebe Gilman
Richmond Hill (Ont.), North Winds Press, 1994. 36pp, laminated boards, $13.95
ISBN 0-590-74616-2. Distributed by Scholastic Canada.

Subject Headings:
Stories in rhyme.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 3-6

Reviewed by Marion Scott

Volume 22 Number 4
1994 September

Jillian Jiggs is back, and her many fans will not be disappointed. This much-anticipated sequel has all the charm and verve of its predecessors--Jillian Jiggs (Scholastic Canada, 1987) and The Wonderful Pigs of Jillian Jiggs (Scholastic Canada, 1988). This time, the story centres on little sister Rebecca's fears of a night-time monster and Jillian's creative response. Joined by their friends Rachel and Peter ("Four are better than two"), they turn boxes and odds and ends into a monster-catching machine. The monster is tracked to a nearby park, trapped in the machine, and shrunk to a manageable size. The tale closes with a humorous twist. The machine really has caught something--a stray kitten.

Gilman celebrates imaginative play with her usual panache and treats the monster theme in a playful and reassuring manner. Both text and illustration are true to the style of the previous Jillian titles. The story moves quickly and is told in rhyme punctuated by a catchy join-in chorus:

"Kalamazoo! Kalamazoo!
Monster, you're meatloaf. Monster, you're through!
Our monster machine will shrink you so small,
You'll be squished. You'll be squashed.
You'll be nothing at all."

Illustrations are cartoonlike, boldly coloured and bursting with entertaining detail. A nice mood contrast also occurs-- colours darken in the scenes where Jillian and her friends approach the monster's lair.

This title is certain to succeed with preschool to grade 1 children. A "must" purchase for all libraries.

Marion Scott is a children's librarian with the Toronto Public Library in Toronto, Ontario
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