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Gaffin, Jane.

Illustrated by Patricia Ellis. Whitehorse, Word Pro, c1985. 150pp, paper, $9.95, ISBN 0-9691-994-14. Distributed by Word Pro, Box 4460, White-horse, Yukon, YlA 2R8. CIP

Grade 3-6
Reviewed by Sharon A. McLennan McCue

Volume 14 Number 4
1986 July

This story of the adventures of a husky pup during the first year of her life is centred around a string of coincidences. An Arctic researcher gives a Siberian Husky pup to a brother and sister who live on a ranch in Colorado, because they have written to him for advice on choosing a pup. A reader might believe that a well-known Arctic researcher would go out of his way to give a valuable puppy to a pair of children on the basis of a two paragraph letter seeking advice. However, this is only the first in a series of events that cause the plot to wear thin and stretch believability beyond endurance.

Toby and Susie and their puppy Chuchi have a number of so-called adventures in this book. In fact, they have an adventure per chapter (i.e., eighteen in 150 pages). A few of these clichéd adventures might have been worked into a combination of well-written dialogue and narrative for an unassuming first-novel type of book, but unfortunately this volume has neither dialogue nor narrative to fall back on. It is obvious that the author has not spent a great deal of time listening to children talk, nor does she respect her young readers enough to understand that they will soon become bored with the predictability of the book's plot.

The story is not enhanced by the line drawings of Patricia Ellis which, in themselves, are just as clichéd as the writing. The main plus for this book is that it has large, easy-to-read print. It is unfortunate that the author, who obviously loves huskies, could not convey this love in a style that reflects the warmth and excitement that she feels for this breed.

Sharon A. McLennan McCue, Chisasibi, James Bay, Que.
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