CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 6 . . . . November 10, 2005
Munsch More contains five of Munsch's previously published books, Alligator Baby, Andrew's Loose Tooth, Ribbon Rescue, Get Out of Bed! and Mmm, Cookies!, all published between 1997 and 2000. As well, the compilation contains a never-before-published Munsch story, Deep Snow, which was illustrated by Michael Martchenko who illustrated all of the other titles in this compilation with the exception of Ribbon Rescue and Get Out of Bed!, with the former being illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes and the latter by Alan and Lea Daniel.
Of the volume's six stories, five contain Munsch's typical humor imbedded in a plot wherein the child protagonist eventually solves his/her problem. Only Ribbon Rescue, which has a folktale quality to it, is much more serious in tone. The new offering, Deep Snow, sees a little girl, Ali, who is riding on the back of her father's snowmobile with her older sister, Kate, jumping off into the deep snow and disappearing. At her father's urging, Kate also jumps into the hole to assist her sister, an act which leaves both girls in trouble. While their father does rescues them, the girls' boots are left behind, and so their dad goes head first into the snow to retrieve them, only to get stuck himself. Now the girls must use their ingenuity to rescue Dad. Martchenko's closing illustration brings a most creative interpretation to Munsch's final line: “And he [Dad] came by later to get them out.” Whether Deep Snow will become a separate book on its own or will just be part of this collection remains to be seen.
The compilations continue to be excellent buys. At $24.99, this hardcover volume is cheaper than the five individual titles, even if they were to be purchased in softcover versions. With the compilation's page size being approximately12 x 9 ½ inches as opposed to the original books' 10 1/4 x 8 1/4 inch size, the larger format makes the volume much more useful when reading the stories to small groups since the illustrations will be more easily visible. Two other value-added aspects are included. At the end of each story, Munsch has added an “About...” page where he explains how that particular story came into being, something that was not part of the original books. As well, at the book's conclusion, there are two page biographies both of Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko plus single pages given over to Alan and Lea Daniel and to Eugenie Fernandes. Each of the biographies is also accompanied by a coloured head & shoulders photo. The only item deleted from any of the original books is “Mom's Play Clay Recipe” that had opened Mmm, Cookies!
Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and YA literature at the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.
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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.