________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 19 . . . . May 27, 2005


An Ordinary School Day.

C.J. Hamilton. Illustrated by Cindy Revell.
Toronto, Annick Press, 2004.
24 pp., pbk., $8.95.
ISBN 1-55037-828-7.

Subject Headings:
Schools - Juvenile fiction.
Toy and movable books.

Kindergarten-grade 4 / Ages 5 9.

Review by Reesa Cohen.

**½ /4

Using stickers to "create a story" is not a new concept; however, this second offering by Annick Press, preceded by another sticker story book, The Mess, is particularly "ordinary." In this title, An Ordinary School Day, readers determine how the story will unfold, with word choices offered in 66 stickers.

When Maya got to class, she reached into her backpack. She couldn't believe it when she pulled out her brother's ________.
"That brat," she said to herself. "He's been playing in my backpack again."

     Creating their own version of a very silly story involving Maya's day at school might appeal to some readers. By filling in the blank spaces with many odd and sometimes challenging words, the reader controls the story. What does Maya pull out of her packpack? a skunk? a firecracker? or could it be a centipede? And just what was father holding? a banana? a whirligig? or was it a mermaid? The possibilities are endless, and, because the stickers are reusable, the story can be retold many times with new twists. There are even blank stickers which invite readers to add their own words. Cindy Revell's acrylic illustrations are colourful, wild and definitely quirky. They have a comedic and lively effect which is quite appropriate to the somewhat amusing content.

internal art

     Although the publisher's press release indicates a positive outcome for children to develop reading and language skills and "to exercise their comedic skills," this reviewer finds both claims somewhat dubious. But perhaps this is due to not being a fan of sticker books. An Ordinary School Day is not a practical buy for a school or public library, but it might find a welcome place in a home library, or as a gift purchase, especially if the buyer is looking for a book in the novelty or activity category.

Recommended with Reservations.

Reesa Cohen is an Instructor of Children's Literature and Information Literacy at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.

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

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