________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 12 . . . .February 18, 2005


The True Story of George. (Orca Echoes).

Ingrid Lee. Illustrated by Stéphane Denis.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2004.
62 pp., pbk., $6.95.
ISBN 1-55143-293-5.

Subject Headings:
Toys-Juvenile fiction.
Heroes-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.

Review by Ruth McMahon.

** /4



This is the story of George, a small "Little People" type figure, picked up at the beach by Katie and her brother Mackenzie. The story is told from two perspectives: George's and the siblings'. Here is an example of how the two perspectives are approached by the author:

Katie and Mackenzie Play with Parachutes

"What are you making?"asked Katie. Her brother was sitting at the kitchen table.

"A parachute,"said Mackenzie. Katie watched as he cut off the handles of a white plastic bag from the dollar store. He poked a hole at the edge of the bag. He poked another and another and another. There were four holes in different places along the edge. Makenzie tied a piece of thread around each hole. The other ends of the thread dangled in space.

"Now I need a passenger," said Mackenzie. "Something not too heavy."

"I know where to get one," said Katie.

She went to the car and fished the little plastic guy out of the window washer fluid. "You can use this little guy," she said.

George Jumps

After his bath, George had a surprise. His parachute was ready! He was going to sky-dive. He would jump solo!

A giant crane hauled him into the air. George gave the operator a wave. The crane let him go.


internal art     George has many other adventures: being lost in a snow fort, mailed to a sick friend, time traveling, etc. The switching between perspectives is sometimes confusing albeit an interesting premise!

     Our six-year-old enjoyed the story but did not understand that it was the same story told from these different perspectives. Having just shared Sarah Plain and Tall and Mississippi Bridge, with her, this story didn't quite measure up. Those reading alone might get baffled by the premise and discontinue reading it. From another perspective, Today's Parent recommended it.

     As Ranganathan said, "Every book its reader." I am sure this title will be appreciated by some young readers. Those looking to flesh out this area of their collection should considering purchasing this title.

Recommended with Reservations.

Ruth Scales McMahon, of Lethbridge, AB, is a professional children's librarian, the co-chair of the Rocky Mountain Book Award and the mother of two young children.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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