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Green, Carrolle.

Illustrated by Leonard Aguanno. Toronto, Annick Press, c1985. unpaged, paper, ISBN 0-920303-34-X (cloth) $12.95,0-920303-35-8 (paper) $4.95. (Annick Toddler Books). CIP

Reviewed by Maureen Pammett

Volume 14 Number 2
1986 March

This first book of a new series from Annick, Annick toddler books, is a delightful addition to their line. The story is of Allyson, a pre-schooler, who lives with her Mummy and Daddy in a very small rented apartment on the upper floor of the owner's house. When Allyson brings their shoes so she and Mummy can go out, Mummy says. "Not now, I'm too busy." Allyson has a very sad day. Even when she goes out on the fire escape to help Mummy take in the clothes, she finds that it is a "too busy day." Mr. O'Connell, mowing his lawn, does not see or hear her even when she calls, "Hi, Hi." The bumble bee, the birds, the squirrel, Vilma, the baby sitter, all are too busy to notice her. By the time Daddy comes home Allyson is too sad to even give him a kiss. Only when Mummy and Daddy show Allyson their surprise, a picnic on the fire escape, does she laugh again. Then relaxing in the evening sun, the family are seen by the neighbours who, no longer busy, wave and call "Hi." The family is happy together.

The illustrations by Leonard Aguanno are beautifully realistic, done in rich warm colours. A typical small apartment is shown with the floor strewn with toys, Mummy in jeans and bare feet, Allyson in shorts and bare feet. The right side of each double-page spread is a full-colour illustration with the story on the left, simply presented in good size type with lots of white space. Especially attractive is the final picture of the family, Dad relaxing with his head on Mummy's lap and Allyson cuddling upon her other side.

A simple, warm, moving story of family life in a realistic modern setting, this will be useful to teachers in presenting a sharing, caring family for consideration when dealing with relationships. Above all, though, it will be enjoyed by young children when it is read to them. They will recognize their own feelings in the story and draw close to Allyson.

Maureen Pammett, Bridgenorth, Ont.
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