________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 7 . . . . November 30, 2001

cover Mallory & the Power Boy.

Pete Marlowe. Illustrated by Cindy Revell.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2000.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $6.95 (pbk.), $19.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55037-688-8 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55037-689-6 (cl.).

Preschool-grade 3 /Ages 4-8.

Review by Sylvia Pantaleo.

** /4


Then just like that, there was light, bursting through the curtains. Then the loudest crash ever, and the light disappeared. Mallory ran to the window in her nightgown. She looked out.

One night while Mallory is dancing about the house to the tune of the rain, a thunderstorm knocks out the electricity. When Mallory peers out into the darkness, she sees a staircase of lightning descending from the sky. A Boy bumps his way down the flight of lightning stairs and lands with a thunderous crash in Mallory's driveway. Mallory learns from Power Boy that the power is hiding, and together the pair set out to find the power. They ascend the lightning staircase and begin to gather the necessary ingredients for power. Mallory and Power Boy collect snow clouds, rain clouds, heat from the sun, light from the stars, and a gust of wind. The pair flip Mallory's umbrella and use it as a pot to mix the ingredients as the black cauldron that Power Boy typically uses crashed to the ground when the big storm hit.


     When all of the elements are mixed, a song erupts, and the power is restored. Power Boy reaches into Mallory's umbrella, takes a handful of power and creates a new staircase for Mallory to return home. The next morning, the electricity is back on, and Mallory's mother muses, "I bet they were working all night to get it fixed." Mallory agrees!

     The search for the various elements of power seems random and somewhat confusing. Children might wonder why light is gathered from the stars and not the sun. At one point in the story, Power Boy tells Mallory that the songs do not come from the stars, they come from the cauldron when all of the ingredients are mixed together. However, once the elements are mixed in Mallory's umbrella, Power Boy states, "The stars are beginning to sing. They're singing of morning." Another point of confusion in the text is the destruction of the black cauldron. How will Power Boy make power again? Will he always need to find Mallory and her umbrella? The richly coloured acrylic illustrations are more engaging than the story. Mallory's cat, who is never mentioned in the text, accompanies her on her fantasy adventure into the night sky. Children will enjoy looking for the feline creature in the illustrations.

Not Recommended.

Sylvia Pantaleo is an Assistant Professor of Language Arts at the Faculty of Education, the University of Victoria.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364