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Quinlan, Patricia.

Illustrated by Vladyana Krykorka. Toronto, Annick Press, 1988. unpaged, cloth. ISBN 1-55037-006-5 (paper) $4.95. 1-55037-007-3 (cloth) $12.95. Distributed by Firefly Books. CIP

Kindergarten to Grade 3
Reviewed by Fran Newman

Volume 16 Number 6
1988 November

This book was written to allay the fears children have regarding a nuclear holocaust. The six-year-old nephew of a friend of the author was having nightmares. In the book, the young girl watches a TV show about bombs and asks her mom why people build bombs. The mother explains that people do this to stop other people from taking things away. The narrator compares that to the fighting that takes place between herself and her brother. Rachel, whose name we learn on the third page, wakes up screaming that she doesn't want to die. She plants a garden, finds the owner of a lost puppy and dreams of hands holding the earth-loving hands, strong hands, small hands. A voice says, "We won't let everything die."

This book might in fact introduce a new fear among little ones who had not previously been aware of the possibility of the earth's being totally destroyed. The grade 2 teacher in my school suggested that Planting Seeds would work well for Remembrance Day and thought that the main idea of the book would go over the heads of the children. The grade 1 teacher agreed with my misgivings; the grade 1-2 teacher liked Planting Seeds and wanted to use it.

Planting Seeds has a beautiful way of dealing with a child's fears and I would run for it the minute I knew a child in my school was having similar fears. But I'm not sure that, I, as a librarian, would feel right about introducing it to a whole class. Older children—yes, by all means. But it's not written in a way that is meant for older ones.

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