CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 5. . . .October 2, 2015
As much as I would like to recommend this charming little story, I cannot. It is simply not that “delishomposhus”. That is assuming that I have guessed correctly that “delishomposhus” means something like ‘outstanding’.
When Freddy and Mrs Goodwich is told orally, it probably holds together quite well, although I must admit that I can’t seem to get “delishomposhus to trip off my tongue. But maybe that is just me. The story has a setting, a beginning, middle and end, and it tells a story about a boy who teaches a witch to make much better pancakes using the proper ingredients.
Presented in a written format, however, there are many weaknesses. None of the weaknesses is major, but collectively they are too much to overlook.
The two paragraphs in the excerpt are the opening page of the book. The author, Adena Trevor, and illustrator, Chelsea Trevor, have chosen to not include an illustration on the first page. When you are first trying to grab students’ attention for a read-a-loud, it is helpful to have a picture to focus their attention.
Although the American “Mrs.” and the British “Mrs” are both acceptable spellings, one or the other convention needs to be used consistently throughout. The use of Mrs. Jensen in one paragraph and Mrs Jensen in the next paragraph is unacceptable. This happens with Mrs Goodwich and Mrs. Goodwich also.
There are occasional grammatical errors and missing punctuation. Even the back cover has a sentence that would benefit from more careful editing.
The illustrations are a highlight of the book. Childish and charming, they are the perfect complement for the story. Oddly, the description of the illustrations on the back cover says that Her Granddaughter, Chelsea drew and painted the pictures for this book. My impression is that the illustrations were drawn and coloured with pencil crayons.
If you learn the story and present it in the oral tradition, using the pictures as a focus for your audience, your audience won’t care about the written presentation. However, I cannot recommend it as a book to add to your library collection for loaning to parents and students.
Dr. Suzanne Pierson is a retired teacher-librarian, currently instructing Librarianship courses at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON.
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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.