Ted Staunton. Illustrated by Sylvie Daigneault.
Volume 15 Number 1
Ted Staunton scores again, this time with a book for slightly younger children than was Taking Care of Crumley ¹, his successful story of kids dealing with a bully.Kindergarten and grade I students loved the story of Simon, the boy who surprises his parents one Saturday morning, early, by washing the family car all by himself. The students decided that Simon was about four years old (and therefore younger than they are) and definitely too young for such a task. Simon does wash the car using plenty of soap, rags, silver polish, household brushes of all sorts (including his own toothbrush), his father's fishing rod, the hose, and sponges. The family pets, cat and sheepdog. merely look on, without exactly aiding and abetting Simon. They are not mentioned in the text at all. Sylvie Daigneault is to be congratulated for her illustrations; colourful, bright, and interesting too. She uses different perspectives, à la Van Allsburg, on several pages. There is one clear illustration opposite each page of words. And the written part is beautifully understated, short and witty. The last sentence of the book will remind you of another story, Oh, Were They Ever Happy (Doubleday, 1978), by Peter Spier and that can lead to more good reading and fun. This book is a good one to read aloud, and I know that the students will sign it out to enjoy again by themselves. Incidentally, it is full of "s" sounds and words and would make a good story to read with a grade I class when they are studying that letter and sound. One quibble: what cat would become involved in such a project? My cat would never lurk near a car that was being washed or a garden hose that was being sprayed indiscriminately.
Margaret Montgomery, West Vernon E.S., Vernon, BC.
¹ Reviewed vol. Xlll/2 March 1985, p. 86.
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