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Rhinehart Friesen. Illustrated by Stefan Czarnecki.
Winnipeg, MB: Hyperion Press, 1987.
unpaged, paper, $7.95.
ISBN 0-920534-60-6. CIP.

Subject Heading:

Kindergarten-grade 2 / Ages 5-7

Reviewed by Jane M. Smith.

Volume 16 Number 5
1988 September

Dr. Rhinehart Friesen, retired obstetrician, has won several prizes for some of his children's stories as well as for his non-fiction writing. Almost an Elephant is a charming tale of an old potter in ancient Greece who uses leftover pieces of clay to make small animals, which he paints and decorates. One little lump of clay has a mind of its own and resists the potter's efforts to mold it into a "lumpy" elephant.

Friesen's simple, imaginative story will delight his young readers and probably make them very eager to have their own little lumps of clay.

Stefan Czarnecki's wonderful illustrations were inspired by his visits to Greece and a fascination with Old World folklore and folk art. His colourful detailed work effectively captures the cheerful atmosphere of the old potter's shop and the exquisite beauty of the clay plates and vases.

This story will appeal to all five-to-seven-year-old children. It has large print, repetitive phrases, an excellent vocabulary, and a direct story-line. Almost an Elephant could be read independently by older Primary children.

Jane M. Smith, Calico Public School, North York, ON.
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