CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 6 . . . .November 9, 2007
Autumn looms, and in a lakeside cottage, various sounds wake the members of Patrick's family:
One by the one, the members of Patrick's family join him on the deck, scanning the lake and listening for the distinctive sound of the loon. And one by one, his sister, parents and grandparents move to the kitchen to prepare for breakfast, with its cacophony of noises blending with the symphony of natural sounds. Left alone on the porch, Patrick waits patiently, and only after the beaver's smacking tail upon the water, the chipmunks' playful sounds in the woodpile, the woodpecker's tapping beak on a maple tree and the swoosh of a canoe in the distance is his patience rewarded.
Beautifully illustrated by Kirsti Anne Wakelin along the same vein as Sheryl McFarlane's A Pod of Orcas, with soft pastel shades and meticulous detail, this visual treat complements the brief text that depicts the calm nature of cottage life. The closeness of the family is evident in the way the members prepare the meal together, and all are attuned to Patrick's interest in seeing the loons. Looking for Loons is a gentle story uncluttered by any evidence of technology; no telephones here, no computers or television. Set in current times, it resonates with the slow pace and simplicity of an early autumn morning in a rural setting. It lends itself to reading aloud, as well as one-on-one quiet time between parent - or grandparent - and child.
Carole Marion is the customer service manager of a Calgary Public Library branch. A former youth librarian, she has been working with children, parents and educators for over 20 years.
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