________________ CM . . . . Volume IV Number 10 . . . . January 16, 1998

cover Jeremiah Learns to Read.

Jo Ellen Bogart. Illustrated by Laura Fernandes and Rick Jacobson.
Richmond Hill, ON: North Winds Press, 1997.
32pp., paper, $17.99.
ISBN 0-590-24927-4.

Subject Headings:
Literacy-Juvenile fiction.
Aged-Juvenile fiction.
Farm life-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 1 - 3 / Ages 6 - 8.
Review By Gail Hamilton.

**** /4

image excerpt:

Jeremiah knew how to build a split-rail fence and he knew how to cook buttermilk pancakes, but he didn't know how to read.
In fact, Jeremiah, a wise old grandfather, can do almost anything - from making a table out of a tree to understanding animal tracks on the ground. Yet Jeremiah feels that a part of him is missing. He announces to his brother and to his wife, Juliana, that he desperately wants to learn to read. The next morning, he accompanies the children to the one-room schoolhouse and joins Mrs. Trumble's class. Jeremiah is welcomed by the students who help him learn to sounds of the letters; and he, in turn, shares his wisdom with them, teaching them how to make bird calls and whistles, how to whittle with a pocketknife and how to make applesauce. In the evenings he studies hard, practising his newly acquired reading skills and writing stories inspired by his personal experiences. When he feels confident enough to read to his wife, Jeremiah reads from a volume of poetry. Juliana decides that she, too, wants to learn to read. The next day, she joins her husband and the children as they walk to school.

      Bogart has written a heartwarming story about sharing and learning from one another and about the joy and wonder of reading. The text is simple, soft and soothing. Full page illustrations [and several double-page spreads], rendered in oil on canvas, depict the beauty of the countryside with its changing seasons. Illustrators Rick Jacobson and Laura Fernandez, a husband and wife team, used real models for the book's characters, an approach which resulted in wonderful lifelike portraits which make the characters come alive. Use this book to kick off "I Love to Read" Month in February. It's a sure-fire winner!

Highly recommended.

Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, Manitoba.

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

Copyright © 1998 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