CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 3 . . . . September 30, 2005
This 48 page chapter-book is part of Crabtree Publishing’s “Banana” reading series designed for readers aged 6 through 8.
Pa Jinglebob, The Fastest Knitter in the West is an amusing parody of the American Wild West. The bad guys threatening the dusty wind-swept town are led by “Not-Nice Nelly” while the unlikely hero is Pa Jinglebob, the town’s fastest knitter. Readers, likely parents and grandparents of the intended audience, who were brought up on a diet of TV Westerns like Roy Rogers and Wyatt Earp, will appreciate the satire. I’m not sure the average seven-year-old of the 21st century will grasp this story in the same way, but nonetheless, Pa Jinglebob is a humourous tale that leaves the reader wondering how a knitting sheriff can save the town from a notorious gang of masked bandits.
Because the dialogue is also the stuff of cowboy movies, audiences unfamiliar with this specialized vocabulary may need some interpretative help with terms like “varmints” and “totin.” Otherwise, the vocabulary, humour and story structure are well suited to the recommended age group.
The amusing illustrations are very reminiscent of British illustrator and children’s writer Tony Ross. Pa Jinglebob sports a handlebar moustache, lots of razor stubble and very hairy arms. Not-Nice Nelly looks like a saloon girl sporting a black mask and gun belt.
Pa Jinglebob is a simple but amusing story that will give a chuckle to adult and child alike.
Barb Taylor, of Calgary, AB, is a Pre-Kindergarten teacher and freelance writer.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.