________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 16 . . . . April 3, 2009

cover Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party. (The Penelope Series).

Sheri Radford. Illustrated by Christine Tripp. Montreal, PQ: Lobster Press, 2009.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $19.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-897550-24-3 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-897550-00-7 (hc.).

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Suzanne Pierson.

*** ½ /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.


excerpt:

Ding Dong.
Into the house streamed a horde of hyper children.
“Happy birthday, Penelope!”
they shouted.

In a pattern reminiscent of Robert Munsch, Penelope’s birthday party escalates from outrageous to ridiculous to preposterous! But who can argue with a girl who invited everyone because she didn’t want to leave anyone out?

internal art

    Author Sheri Radford has created a strong character in Penelope, a girl with lots of energy, good intentions, and at least a little understanding when even she has to admit that next year’s party won’t include the elephant.

    Radford plays with language in the text, using repetition, alliteration and numbers. Occasionally, the story pattern and the language devices seem overdone, but usually they work wonderfully.

Ding Dong.
Into the house streamed a multitude of monkeys and a crowd of clowns and a menagerie of magicians.

The images created by Radford’s text are equally playfully illustrated by Christine Tripp. Tripp uses her computer to copy her pencil sketches onto watercolour paper before completing them with acrylics. Penelope in her party outfit - tiara, tutu, striped leotards and cape – dances through the pages greeting her guests, petting giraffes in windows, and explaining to her harried parents that there may be “just two or three more” or “just three or four more.” The illustrations also show Penelope’s mixed race parents and ethnically diverse friends. Almost everyone will be able to see someone like themselves in this story. Children will also enjoy looking for Penelope’s long-suffering dog in the illustrations.

Highly Recommended.

Suzanne Pierson is a retired teacher-librarian, currently instructing Librarianship courses at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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.

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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