________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 22 . . . . June 27, 2008

cover

The Rocking Chair. (Alligator Tales).

Dennis Lee. Illustrated by Nora Hilb.
Toronto, ON: Key Porter Books, 2008.
14 pp., board, $9.95.
ISBN 978-1-55470-011-0.

Subject Headings:
Children's poetry, Canadian (English).
Rocking chairs - Juvenile poetry.

Preschool / Ages 1-4.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

*** /4

   
cover

This Little Puppy. (Alligator Tales).

Dennis Lee. Illustrated by Nora Hilb.
Toronto, ON: Key Porter Books, 2008.
14 pp., board, $9.95.
ISBN 978-1-55470-010-3.

Subject Headings:
Children's poetry, Canadian (English).
Puppies - Juvenile poetry
.

Preschool / Ages 1-4.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

*** /4

excerpts:

I love to rock
In the rocking chair.
I rock rock rock
With my teddy bear. (From
The Rocking Chair.)

This little puppy goes bow-wow-WOW,
This little puppy wants to walk right now.
This little puppy says it's time for chow,
And this little puppy needs a home. (From
This Little Puppy.)

 

internal art

The original poem, "The Rocking Chair," appeared in Dennis Lee's 2000 collection, Bubblegum Delight. That version had but two four line stanzas and used the first person singular pronoun, "I rock rock rock / And I just don't care." The new version has six stanzas with the original's second stanza appearing in modified form as the fourth verse in the board book. Now, Lee's narrator does not rock alone, but, as can be seen in the above excerpt, he has been joined by his teddy bear. Side by side on their rocking chair, the two take off on imaginative voyages around their neighborhood and beyond before inviting readers/listeners to join them. The rhythm of Lee's poetry aptly mimics the chair's lulling, gentle rocking.

internal art

     According to the accompanying publicity piece, the poem which makes up the text of This Little Puppy is new. Unlike The Rocking Chair, which was more a mood piece, This Little Puppy has a simple plot. When two young children find what appears to be an abandoned pup, the siblings decide that they want to keep it and describe how they'll take care of the dog by, for example, walking and feeding it. Nora Hilb's last illustration shows the pair carrying the pup into their home where a toddler awaits them. Given that no adults appear in any of the illustrations, whether the pup gets to stay or not remains up in the air - at least in the minds of the book's adult readers.

     Hilb's cartoon-style illustrations contain enough detail to keep the viewer interested but not overwhelmed. Her consistent use of the same illustration style neatly ties the series books together.

Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson, who is CM's editor, lives 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.
 

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