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Allen Morgan. Illustrated by Michael Martchenko.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 1987.
unpaged, paper, $4.95.
ISBN 0-92030372-2. cloth, $12.95. ISBN 0-920303-75-7. Matthew's Midnight Adventure Series. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Gifts-Juvenile fiction.
Money-Juvenile fiction.
Mother's Day-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 1-4 / Ages 6-9

Reviewed by Fran Newman.

Volume 15 Number 4
1987 July

I have a bunch of grade two's - male and female - who are devotees of Matthew, so I am delighted to see the third in the series. I think the reason for the popularity of this series is that Matthew is irrepressible. Through his imagination which is so wild and un-adult, he has great power. His adventures stir the hearts of kids ... if only they could conjure up his particular form of magic.

This time, it is Mother's Day and Matthew has done a card for his mother. But his bank, in the shape of a van, has only a few pennies and "If I were rich I could buy my mother something really good and she'd know how I really feel." At the magic hour of midnight (and is Matthew ever really dreaming? ) he goes outside where the van has become large and animated and is shovelling up mounds of pennies, "a million of them, two million maybe or even more, three million, four, five million shiny, bright, sparkling new pennies." Before long the midnight turkeys are there doing their zany stuff; there is entry to a mall where a diamond ring for Matthew's mother is found - "a shiny-new, solid-gold, real diamond ring." Upon his return to his room, Matthew hides it in a secret place so it won't get lost. Of course it can't be found (is this a dream or isn't it?) but as Matthew serves his mom breakfast in bed, from a delightful store of food he keeps under his bed, out pops a cereal ring - the very one.

I like the way Allen Morgan ties it all together and, as before, I applaud the single mother aspect. I noticed a better use of language in this one - phrases that kids will pick up and roll around on their tongues. As always, Michael Martchenko's full-colour drawings are perfect. This really is Matthew. Those really are turkeys. I can't conceive of them looking any other way.

Don't just buy this book. Buy all three Matthew stories.

Fran Newman, Murray Centennial P.S., Trenton, ON.
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