________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 2 . . . . September 17, 2004

cover Goodbye to Griffith Street.

Marilynn Reynolds. Illustrated by Renné Benoit.
Victoria, BC: Orca Books, 2004.
32 pp., cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 1-55143-285-4.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Christina Neigel.

***1/2 /4

Reviewed from f&g's.

excerpt:

John tiptoed out to the living room where Mother was asleep on the couch. "It snowed last night and I want to go out," he whispered.

"But it's too early to get up," Mother said.

"I want to say goodbye to the street," John said.

Mother looked at his earnest face. "All right,' she said. "Put on your coat and boots. And don't go far away."

John's parents are getting a divorce. Consequently, John and his mother are leaving a mining town to start a new life. Goodbye to Griffith Street is set in the last hours before John and his mother leave. After a heavy snowfall, John ventures outside in the early hours of the day to say his final farewells to the people and places he has grown up with.

internal art     This work was directly inspired by the author's own experience of leaving her home at the age of seven as the result of her parents' separation. Using soft, subtle colours, Renné Benoit creates a strong sense of the past and sentimentality in her carefully drawn ink and water color illustrations.

     Through its imagery and text, the story probes the deeper questions that plague many whose lives are in transition including closure, being remembered and the notion of leaving a "mark." John leaves his "mark" by creating images in the snow in front of the homes of people he knows. He gets a chance to say his goodbyes.

     This work is a wonderful bridge for anyone wishing to discuss such issues as divorce, closure, change, separation, moving, and relationships.

Highly Recommended.

Christina Neigel, an instructor at the University College of the Fraser Valley, teaches in the Library and Information Technology Diploma Program in Abbotsford, 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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