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Jill Creighton. Illustrated by Ruth Ohi.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 1989.
22pp., cloth, $12.95.
ISBN 1-55037-037-5. paper, $4.95. ISBN 1-55037-36-7. Distributed by Firefly Books. CIP.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8

Reviewed by Patricia Fry.

Volume 17 Number 4
1989 July

This delightful book is a real hit with readers in the Primary grades. The humour is aimed at their level and most of the children can identify with the dilemma of the two main characters.

Mary joins Sam at his house one rainy day and the two friends decide to build a town complete with stores, people, a school and a monster wall "for protection." Just as the townspeople are enjoying a parade, two furry shapes streak through the crowd, creating havoc. Mary and Sam pretend the two house cats are escaped tigers and are pleased the tigers didn't eat them. It's this kind of humour that gets smiles from the young set!

Of course, the fun is just beginning and the cats / tigers give a hint of what's to follow. Suddenly Mary and Sam hear a gurgling, burbling, roaring sound. Yes, it's a monster - really! Have you guessed? Why, it's Baby Monster: "Her hair sticks up in points and her little paws are ready. She smashes through the monster wall and slithers into town."

When the children manage to cage the protesting monster under a rocking chair, the Monster Control Officer (another chuckle from the audience here as they recognize mom) steps in.

There are small half-page pictures in addition to the full-page drawings. Some of the paintings dominate one page but spill over on to the facing page. They are detailed and softly coloured. Small black-and-white sketches of the cats in the first few pages hint at what's to come for the observant reader.

Highly recommended.

Patricia Fry, Port Credit, ON.
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