CM . . . . Volume XV Number 17. . . .April 17, 2009.
Down the Drain!
Robert Munsch. Illustrated by Michael Martchenko.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2009.
32 pp., pbk., $6.99.
Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.
Review by Suzanne Pierson.
Adam jumped HIGHER and HIGHER
and HIGHER and HIGHER
on the trampoline.
“That’s too high,” said his little sister.
“You’re gonna get in trouble!”
And Adam does get into trouble, but, since this is Robert Munsch, you know that the trouble will only get worse before it gets better.
Relying on his well tested formula, Munsch soon puts Adam in control, and it is Adam’s father who has to try everything to convince Adam to pull the plug. Unfortunately, when Adam finally does agree to pull the plug, everything, including Adam, goes – where else? – down the drain. And then things get really messy.
If you are a Munsch fan, you will not be disappointed by this latest work. Although the pattern of progressive crisis and humorous resolution is familiar, it still works. The language begs to be read aloud, with expression. When Adam’s father first sees the water coming out the bottom of the bathroom door, the text is normal size.
“Oh, dear,” said Adam’s father.
After giving Adam a skateboard, red running shoes, a dress for his little sister, and an enormous hamburger, Adam’s father is a bit more expressive.
“Adam! Pull the plug!”
When he finally emerges from the drain, Adam shares some of his observations.
“You have no idea what it is like down there. There is glitch, gloop, hair, old toenails, slop and glop. Look at me, I am covered with glitchy, gloopy, grimy GLOP!”
Michael Martchenko, one of Canada’s most popular children’s book illustrators, has illustrated several other books by Robert Munsch. His colourful and action-packed watercolour pictures add to the fun as Adam flies off the trampoline, swims around the flooded bathroom and peers up from the depths of the drain. Look for the mice that are watching the action in several different pictures, and the cat with the swim ring. And who belongs to the fourth pair of grinning eyeballs in the drain?
Whether this is the first Munsch book you have ever read or the fiftieth, it is fun and sure to please.
Suzanne Pierson is a retired teacher-librarian, currently instructing Librarianship courses at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON.
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