CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 4 . . . . October 13, 2006
Mary Arrigan and Korky Paul take us back to the rootin’ tootin’ American Wild West with a bit of a twist. In this Wild West, the mustachioed, bristle-chinned, tough-looking sheriff is also a compulsive knitter. When an evil realtor bribes the illiterate town folk into signing over their land Pa is called into action. After he chastises the town folk for their illiterate ways and their unrelenting greed when offered gifts like hand-painted silk shirts, Pa points out that they have, in fact, signed their names to a legal document. Just when all seems lost, Pa knits up a scheme, one that saves the day.
Young readers, familiar with knitting jargon and the ways of the American Wild West, will enjoy this novel that pokes gentle fun at good and bad guys and a way of living made popular in 1950’s cowboy movies. The story speaks against stereotyping and honours literacy without preaching at the audience.
The colourful pen and ink illustrations portray snaggle-toothed heroines and scruffy looking children in their windswept western towns where the saloon doubles as the town hall.
Speech bubbles add a comic book element to the story, which may appeal to an audience of 6-8-year-olds.
Pa Jinglebob and the Grabble Gang is a fun story for children and adult readers. Nothing profound or life changing – just a good fun read.
Barbara Taylor, of Calgary, AB, is a freelance journalist and early childhood educator.
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