________________ CM . . . . Volume VII Number 17 . . . . April 27, 2001

cover Munschworks 3: The Third Munsch Treasury.

Robert N. Munsch and Michael Kusugak. Illustrated by Michael Martchenko and Vladyana Krykorka.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2000.
138 pp., cloth, $24.95.
ISBN 1-55037-633-0.

Subject Headings:
Humorous stories.
Children's stories, Canadian (English).

Preschool - grade 2 / Ages 2 - 7.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

**** /4

image As the number in the title indicates, this work is the third in a series of compilations of previously published books authored by Robert Munsch. The quintet includes four titles illustrated by Munsch's most frequent illustrator, Michael Martchenko: Stephanie's Ponytail (1996), Angela's Airplane (1988), Jonathan Cleaned Up Then He Heard a Sound (1981) and Show and Tell (1991). While the first four are typical Munsch fun stories, the final book is the Inuit cautionary tale that Munsch co-authored with Michael Kusugak, A Promise is a Promise (1988), and which was illustrated by Vladyana Krykorka. Because of its relative recency, Stephanie's Ponytail, a delightful tale about a young girl's repeated attempts to assert her individuality, may be the only of the five stories which is not already as well known as the others.

      Most of the comments which I made about the previous two collections (see CM, Vol. V, No. 14, March 12, 1999 & Vol. VII, No. 4, October 20, 2000) also apply to this one. The enlarged 10" x 10" format makes the illustrations more visible if they were to be shared during small group story times. Unlike the first two compilations, the reprinted illustrations, which are sometimes slightly cropped, are consistently brighter than those found in the original books. Because of the book's increased thickness, a bit more of some of the illustrations is also lost in the gutter. In all but the last book, a small illustration of the story's central character has been added to each of the text pages. The books' texts remain unmodified though the use of a larger font size has altered the original line arrangements. In two cases in Show and Tell, a concluding paragraph has been moved to the next page, and this modification actually improves the story's reading for the adjusted text works better with the illustration to which it is now connected. In A Promise is a Promise, the paragraphing has been changed (where space permits) to incorporate the convention that a new speaker means a new paragraph. In a couple of instances in A Promise is a Promise, however, the larger text size now intrudes somewhat on the illustrations.

      Given that the compilation's price is less than the amount required to purchase the same five titles even in their soft cover versions, these Munsch collections are an excellent value for home, school or library purchase.

Highly Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and young adult literature in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.

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

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ISSN 1201-9364