Shoot for the Moon, Robyn.
Hazel Hutchins. Illustrated by Yvonne Cathcart.
Grades 1 - 4 / Ages 6 - 9.
"I stood beside you at the Christmas concert. You sing like a sick cow!" hooted Grant.Award-winning author Hazel Hutchins has written sixteen books for children.
Shoot for the Moon, Robyn, which is part of the "first Novel" series written by well-known Canadian authors for juveniles, is an easy-to-read work that is divided into ten chapters, each containing four to six pages. The large font and grade appropriate vocabulary will appeal to children making the transition from picturebooks to narrative text. The informal language, which includes expressions such as "tattletale: and 'the Three Twerps," adds to the book' appeal. Children in the targeted age range will also be able to identify with the characters and the situations in which they find themselves. The delightful, black and white cartoon drawings by Yvonne Cathcart add to the book's appeal to young readers.
For children who dream of becoming the world's best at something, Robyn the Dreamer will provide them with both inspiration and laughter as she aspires to be a singer like Celine Dion. In order to add variety to her "Music Appreciation" class and perhaps to help the teacher with three annoying boys who shoot spitballs, Robyn volunteers to sing for the class. However, she finds herself faced with two major problems. She can't practise at home because her singing will disturb the new, fretful twin babies in the next apartment and the only songs to which she knows all the words are Christmas carols and it's not Christmas.
While readers in the early years will be able to identify with Robyn, some of the incidents might not be familiar to their experience. For example, spitballs in the younger grades is not always a common occurrence, and yet this happening is an important plot incident. As well, reasons for Robyn's mixed feelings towards the twins might not be readily evident to younger readers. However, these story aspects can become excellent discussion points. In this way, Shoot for the Moon, Robyn invites adults to join in the reading so that transitional young readers can experience the enjoyment of sharing and discussing what they read with others.
Janice Foster is a teacher-librarian at Oakenwald Elementary School in Fort Garry School Division, Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © 1997 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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TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - October 31, 1997.
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