________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 12 . . . . February 6, 2009

miamattandtheturkeychase cover Mia, Matt and the Turkey Chase. (First Novels).

Annie Langlois. Illustrated by Jimmy Beaulieu. Translated by Sarah Cummins. Halifax, NS: Formac, 2008.
64 pp., pbk. & hc., $5.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-0-88780-763-3 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-0-88780-765-7 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Vacations-Juvenile fiction.
Turkey-Juvenile fiction.
Escapes-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Lisa Hanson O'Hara.

*** /4

Annie Langlois's first novel, Mia, Matt and the Turkey Chase, is a wacky turkey-chase of a story. Mia and Matt live with their Uncle Orlando, an animal trainer. In the winters, they live in an apartment in the city, but they spend the summers at the lake where Uncle Orlando trains animals to star in tv, ads and movies. This particular summer, Uncle Orlando is training a turkey named Alfred to star in a movie called "Intergalactic Turkey."


     Unfortunately, Alfred disappears. The twins track Alfred to their neighbour Maria's, where they spot turkey tracks in the garden. The next day, Maria finds flowers on her doorstep, but the garden has been torn apart by whoever picked them. The mysteries continue when Uncle Orlando's peddle boat disappears, closely followed by his blue checkered shirt. The twins have their suspicions about the culprit, suspicions which are confirmed when they spot Alfred peddling across the lake in the peddle boat. The next day, they paddle out to the island where they find Alfred and bring him back.

Uncle Orlando was already there when we got to Maria's. He had seen us from a distance, pedalling and paddling like crazy.

"My darling little dearest turkey," murmured Orlando, taking Alfred in his arms. "Where were you sweetie?"

Matt started to explain.

"Alfred escaped from his pen because he's in love with Maria."

Two pairs of eyes swivelled towards Matt, who began to regret not letting me tell the story.

"A turkey in love?" Maria exclaimed.

The two grown-ups burst out laughing. They didn't notice Alfred had lain down on the dock and begun to weep.

Did Maria and Orlando really think we could make up such a story? Really, grown-ups have way too much imagination! When the laughter finally stopped, Maria walked over to Alfred and looked at him closely.

"He certainly doesn't seem very happy," she said. "But I think I have an idea...."

     The idea takes the form of Geraldine, a female rooster, who does indeed make Alfred very happy. As Mia says "Love was in the air! It filled my heart with happiness."

     This novel is a funny, goofy romp written with lots of imagination. Jimmy Beaulieu's pen and ink illustrations are perfectly suited to the story, simple, clever and humourous.


Lisa Hanson O'Hara is a librarian and mother of three in Winnipeg, MB.

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

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