________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 25 . . . . March 10, 2017


Harry and Clare's Amazing Staycation.

Ted Staunton. Illustrated by Mika Song.
Toronto, ON: Tundra, 2017.
32 pp., hc. & epub, $22.99 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-77049-827-3 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-77049-828-0 (epub).

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Chloe Humphreys.

***½ /4



On Monday of vacation it rained.

Harry and his sister Clare stayed in and went to Mars. Mars looked a lot like the family room, except for the volcanoes.

Harry carried the luggage. Clare, being older, carried the snacks.

Harry and Clare are siblings on vacation, but the rain is putting a damper on their plans. Undaunted, they stay home and create imaginary worlds full of adventure. The family room turns into Mars with quicksand, grocery carts transform into "Pasta Linguini racers", and their bedrooms morph into classrooms presided over by Teacher Clare. The only problem is that Clare, being the older sister, thinks she's in control of everything. She chooses what, how and when they play, and Harry is tired of following Clare's orders. Luckily, Harry comes up with a smart plan to persuade his sister to be a team player.

      Ted Staunton perfectly captures a sibling dynamic that children and families will relate to with ease. Like younger and older siblings everywhere, Harry and Clare love playing with one another, but they encounter friction due to bossiness. The narrative deftly captures the sibling tension from both Clare and Harry's perspectives and resolves the conflict in a gentle and realistic way. Despite their disagreements, the imaginary worlds Harry and Clare create are truly magical and reflect the wonderful power that children have to create excitement and adventure out of the smallest details in their environment. Mika Song's soft watercolour and ink illustrations perfectly capture the melding of the real world with the imaginary, as a floral couch bleeds in a vibrant landscape of erupting volcanoes on Mars.

      Harry and Clare's Amazing Staycation is a delightful addition to any library and will surely capture the imaginations of all who read it.

Highly Recommended.

Chloe Humphreys is a newly minted librarian with a passion for children's literature and reading. She works at Vancouver Public Library and North Vancouver District Public Library, and lives in beautiful North Vancouver, BC.

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.

Next Review | Table of Contents for This Issue - March 10, 2017.

CM Home
| Back Issues | Search | CM Archive | Profiles Archive