________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 31. . . .April 15, 2016


Pinny in Summer.

Joanne Schwartz. Illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood/House of Anansi Press, 2016.
32 pp., hardcover & pdf, $16.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55498-782-5 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-55498-783-2 (pdf).

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Ellen Heaney.

** /4



This little book is one of the type that could provide a bridge between a beginning reader and an early chapter book, or it could be the first read-aloud experience for an older preschooler looking to move on from picture books.

     Here we have four stories of a little girl named Pinny who is exploring the world around her. She searches for a perfect wishing stone, goes blueberrying with friends, bakes a cake, and gets to know a scavenger seagull.

      The storytelling is straightforward in tone:

Blueberry Hill was bursting with berries, and they had no trouble filling their pails. Pinny, Annie and Lou were so busy they didn’t notice the breeze getting breezier and the clouds growing grayer. A sudden gust blew, and a dark cloud cast a shadow over the blueberry patch. Pinny looked up and a fat raindrop hit her on the nose.

“Oh no,” said Pinny. “Let’s run!”

     The mild adventures are described in a colourful way that will stretch the young reader’s vocabulary. They end in a satisfying but predictable manner:

The sky changed from blue, to a deeper blue, then to dark blue. Pinny held the wishing rock in her hand as she climbed into bed. She traced the white ring on the rock all the way around and closed her eyes.

“I wish for another prefect day tomorrow.”

Pinny yawned and fell asleep.

     Isabelle Malenfant’s illustrations feature childish figures jumping and running and at rest. The colour palette is one of muted grey and mauve tones. The technique is an unusual one, described as having been done with pastels, graphite pencil, Q-tips and an electric eraser.

      Joanne Schwartz is a seasoned author of books for children, and, although she has taken us on a pleasant outing, Pinny in Summer presents readers with nothing particularly new. A book for larger primary collections.


Ellen Heaney is a retired children’s librarian living in Coquitlam, BC.

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

Copyright © 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
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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