________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 6 . . . . November 10, 2005


Earth to Audrey.

Susan Hughes. Illustrated by Stéphane Poulin.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2005.
32 pp., cloth, $18.95.
ISBN 1-55337-843-1.

Subject Headings:
Summer-Juvenile fiction.
Best friends-Juvenile fiction.
Imagination-Juvenile fiction.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8.

Review by Reesa Cohen.

**** /4



The first time I saw Audrey, I almost didn't.

The next time I saw her, she was sending signals. There couldn't have been anyone up there answering back.... could there?

When I saw Audrey again, she was training grasshoppers. Her antennae had to be fake. But the grasshoppers didn't seem to think so.


Hughes, a well-known writer of nonfiction and Poulin, a Governor General's award-winner, showcase their talents in a unique and charming story of friendship which is told with gentle, disarming humor. A bored young boy, with his best friends away for the summer, hesitantly makes friends with a strange girl. Ray is suspicious of her behavior and thinks Audrey may be an alien with very few "earth manners." Ray's impressive imagination takes flight as Audrey sheds an interesting light on his surroundings and teaches him about "earth hugs." This unusual girl sees the world in a different, all-embracing way, and she reveals her insights to Ray, allowing him to view "the earth for the first time, new and astonishing." Readers will be enchanted as Ray and Audrey pass warm summer days with pretend dolphin rides, picnics, viewing the constellations, swimming, a movie, and with Audrey's family exploring the "great explosion at the very beginning."

internal art

     Oil on canvass paintings, spread over double pages are delightful, and they provide a union between text and image. Audrey is pictured with orange coloured hair and braids that stick up in the air "like antennae." Funny, doll-like faces, colourful backgrounds and interesting perspectives result in joyful and spirited illustrations. Many of the pictures feature details and jokes within, such as a movie poster with a creature walking out of the frame, dolphin-like clouds, Ray and Audrey on a spinning basketball. There's energy and humour to these illustrations and readers will be rewarded by taking the time to look closely at them.




Highly Recommended.


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.

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.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.