Peter Eyvindson. Illustrated by Wendy Wolsak.
Volume 15 Number 5
Peter Eyvindson, a Saskatchewan storyteller, and Wendy Wolsak, a British Columbia artist, have joined their talents in order to create their second children's picture book, Old Enough. Their first endeavour resulted in the publication of the delightful Kyle's Bath ¹.The text is easy enough for primary children to read independently. However, Old Enough is a book with a message that seems to be directed more towards parents than towards children. It tells of the relationship between a man and his son. There is a repetitive quality to the book, which is evident in both text and illustrations. Holding his newborn son, the father dreams of what they will do together when he becomes "old enough. " These wishes are illustrated by tiny figures cavorting on the quilt. As the boy grows, the father becomes caught in the demands of an adult world. He has "time enough only for his meetings, his conventions and his work." The father's dreams become the boy's solitary activities. This gives the book a sad, melancholy quality. This impression continues to the end of the book, in spite of the author's attempt to develop a happy ending. Wendy Wolsak's detailed black-and-white illustrations interpret and enhance the text superbly. As in Kyle's Bath, she has used native people as models for the characters. Calendars at the side of the double-page illustrations mark the passage of time and give a continuity to the characters as they mature. Her soft-textured illustrations add to the wistful quality of the book.
Joanne Robertson, Dauphin, MB.
¹ Reviewed vol. XIII/6 November 1985, p.271.
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