________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 12. . . November 24, 2017


Garbage Delight.

Dennis Lee. Illustrated by Sandy Nichols.
Toronto, ON: HarperCollins Canada, 2015.
24 pp., board, $12.99.
ISBN 978-1-44344-647-1.

Preschool / Birth-age 4.

Review by Dorothea Wilson-Scorgie.

**** /4


If you want to see grins

All the way to my shins,

Then give me some Garbage Delight!


Known in some circles as “Canada’s Father Goose”, Dennis Lee, an iconic Canadian children’s poet, reaches out to a whole new target audience: the tiny tots. I grew up reading the original Garbage Delight, so the poem is wonderfully familiar, but the new board book format with fresh accompanying illustrations by Sandy Nichols is a welcome addition to Lee’s celebrated collection of poetry books. Nichols’ images tell their own story which interact with the poem but are not bound by Lee’s words: A little brown bear cub, enticed by a picnic basket, ends up frolicking in and enjoying a large pile of garbage nearby the picnic site. Having come to life, a pair of stuffies (a crocodile in a bow tie and a dog in a clown suit) help the brown bear cub to find his way back home and to reunite with his mama bear. Light brown and garbage-bag green are the main colours used in Nichols’ illustrations which fittingly emphasize the putrid side of the bear cub’s feeding frenzy. Small children will “ewww” and “ughhh” aloud within the spirit of the bear’s romp.

     This more concrete and straight-forward edition of Garbage Delight is a charming way of introducing young readers to the works of Dennis Lee and will undoubtedly inspire them to read his other more wacky books as they grow older. Lee’s rhymes and rhythms are unforgettable, and parents, teachers, and librarians alike will get a kick out of sharing this poem’s revival with the little ones in their lives.

Highly Recommended.

Dorothea Wilson-Scorgie has completed her MA degree in Children’s Literature at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and is currently pursuing a MLIS degree at the University of Alberta. She resides in Victoria, BC, with her husband, toddler son, and their miniature dachshund.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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