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Volume VIII Number 10 . . . . January 18, 2002
This morning the smell of cinnamon buns wafted up the stairs where Chutney was doing her morning dance. She danced right down to the kitchen, where she made a big pot of tea with honey. After breakfast Chutney decided it would be a perfect day for a picnic. "Would you like to join me, Bing? We could take the streetcar to Moosonee!" "Oh, what a great idea," said Bing. She immediately set about making a macaroni salad. It was a work of art.Bing, the pig, and Chutney, the elephant, are best friends and roommates. Bing loves to bake and Chutney loves to dance. One day, Chutney suggests that it is a perfect day for a picnic, and Bing readily agrees and offers to be in charge of preparing the picnic basket. The two friends decide to take the streetcar and, despite a sleeping driver, manage to travel north towards Moosonee, inviting animal friends to join them along the way. Although the picnic basket gets squashed and they never reach their destination, together Bing and Chutney come up with a solution that allows everyone to enjoy the picnic.
Bing and Chutney Off to Moosonee, part of the Bing and Chutney series for preschoolers, is a sweet tale of friendship. The two main characters have their own distinct personalities and talents (and even their own individual fonts for their names) and are energetic and confident. The plot moves along quickly as the story is told in a straightforward manner with each page containing another quick twist in the tale. Andrea von Konigslow's watercolour paintings are lively and humourous and include some quirky touches such as Chutney's wearing heart-shaped sunglasses. The story has a positive mood throughout, and the ending conveys the important message that problems are easily solved. While told in simple language, the book is a satisfying tale for very young readers. (Note: a bonus Bing cookie recipe is also included for parents.)
Lisa Sykes has worked in Winnipeg as an early years teacher and teacher librarian. She is currently enjoying her time at home with her two young children.
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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.