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Gigeroff, Alex K.
Illustrated by Alex K. Gigeroff and Hugh Eamon
Toronto, J.C. George Enterprises, 1993.
unpaged, paper, $9.90 (GSTincluded),
ISBN 0-921369-14-X. Distributed by J.C. George Enterprises,
577 Mount Pleasant Rd., Toronto, Ont. M4S 2M5. CIP

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8

Reviewed by Catherine McInerney

Volume 22 Number 2
1994 March / April

In this unusual tale, a Macedonian baba knits two wonderful pairs of brightly coloured socks for her grandchildren. The grandchildren are unsure whether they want to wear the socks or to save them for special occasions. They seek the advice of the Old Wise Shepherd in the woods. He shows them scenes from their grandparents' past, and plays traditional music and teaches them a song and dance. The children return to their grandparents' house and demonstrate what they have learned about their culture.

The baba and dedo are realistically and lovingly portrayed, little arguments and all. The text is lightly peppered with Greek words, but not so many that it detracts from the story.

The fantasy encounter with the mythical Old Wise Shepherd is wonderfully imaginative and colourful. The shepherd is drawn in a rough and wild way. The illustrations swirl with the Macedonian folk music and dance. The lively colours of the socks help to make it seem as if the children's feet are constantly dancing out of the pictures.

Throughout the book, the illustrations show the bond between the children and their grandparents. While the text is long in some places, the vocabulary is not really complicated, and the story flows well.

If you are searching for a book to fit in with a multicultural theme, this one is ideal. However, do not limit the use of this warm story to that purpose.

Highly Recommended

Catherine McInerney is a children's librarian with the St. Catherines Public Library

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