WHERE THERE'S SMOKE
Volume 21 Number 4
Daisy and her dad have bad habits. Daisy bites her fingernails and her dad smokes. Daisy's family tries everything to get her to stop, but nothing works. All of the family try to get Daisy's dad to quit smoking, but again nothing works. Finally, Daisy and her dad make a New Year's resolution to help each other break their bad habits. Day after day, they spend hours together trying out new hobbies to keep themselves occupied while mom learns to play the trumpet, drums, tuba and the electric guitar.
Janet Munsil has a timely message for adults and children. Her story shows compassion for those trying to break habits and suggests the kind of family support that is necessary. Our school received a complimentary copy of this book from Health and Welfare Canada. It was suggested that the book offered "an interesting and innovative means of relaying the vital health message about the hazards of smoking and secondhand smoke to children" while promoting "the goals of literacy and communication among children and adults."
However, it is Michael Martchenko's illustrations that bring credibility to the story and characterization to Daisy and her family. His cartoonlike figures, similar to those he created in Robert Munsch's stories, draw the reader into the humour of the story. The large, uncluttered illustrations cover more than half of the pages and govern the message presentation.
I would recommend its use from grade 1 to 4, ages six to ten.
Brenda Partridge is a library-resource teacher at Percy Centennial Public School in Warkworth, Ontario.
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