CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 27. . . .March 24, 2017
Double Trouble at the Rooms.
Lisa Dalrymple. Illustrated by Elizabeth Pratt-Wheeler.
St. Johnís, NL: Tuckamore Books/Creative, 2016.
32 pp., pbk., $12.95.
Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.
Review by Courtney Crocker.
Nat is excited. Her class is delighted.
Everyone, even her bear, is invited
To tour the museum perched up on the hill.
Mum mentions itís really quite roomy but stillÖ
Nat is going on a class trip to The Rooms, a museum located in St. Johnís, NL. The fun begins when she brings her polar bear friend along for the ride. When they arrive at the museum, the polar bear meets a black bear who comes to life which causes the security guard Bill to spill his coffee. The mischievous bears test the frigid Newfoundland waters and get into a little bit of trouble. The bears hide in jelly bean houses, they try on historical clothing that belonged to the Inuit, Miíkmaq, Inuit, Irish and French, and they row in a birch bark canoe on the stairs of the museum. At the end of the story, the naughty yet cute bears win over the security guard when he decides that he wants to play with them.
Lisa Dalrymple writes with a rhyming rhythm that will get children excited about the adventures at the museum. Equally satisfying are the illustrations by Elizabeth Pratt-Wheeler. Her art work consists of vivid watercolour that will bring back memories to those who visited St. Johnís, have friends or family in the city, or have stopped by The Rooms. I think this book can also be enjoyed by readers who have never visited Newfoundland, and it can teach children across Canada about the province furthest east.
The story is full of references to colourful, unique St. Johnís town. Readers learn about the infamous Jelly Bean row, Signal Hill and, of course, displays at The Rooms. The one downside about this book is that there is not a lot of focus on historical information covered at The Rooms. Though the book covers Indigenous people, there was an opportunity to talk about other aspects of Newfoundland history, such as Newfoundlandís involvement in World War I, Newfoundlandís joining Confederation and the fishery.
Despite this drawback, I think that this book is a great addition to any home or school library. Teachers could use this book as a teaching tool before going to a museum or introducing topics such as Canadian geography. I believe that Double Trouble at The Rooms is a book to be enjoyed by all readers for many years to come.
Courtney Crocker is the Regional Librarian for Central Division with Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries. She lives in Gander, NL.
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