CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 5 . . . . October 29, 2004
How do you keep bacon from curling in the pan?
Take away their little brooms.
Eighty trees an hour.
Because humor is a very much something that is idiosyncratic, what one person will find amusing, others often may not. However, there is a stage for children, especially during their early years of schooling, when jokes like those in the excerpt above are considered to be gut-bustingly funny. Hershkowitz organizes his 101 jokes into 10 groupings which have titles like "Oh Canada!" "Animal Country," "What Really Bugs Us" and "Snow Much Fun." With the exception of the last section, "Hey, Mom! There's a Canadian at the Door," which contains only knock- knock jokes, all the rest use the question/answer format. While a child may be able to read these jokes on his/her own, any adults within hearing distance will quickly be recruited as the responding audience.
The book's layout is very open with each page carrying a maximum of two jokes while 25 of the book's pages are fully taken up by Dickson's black & white cartoons. While not a first-purchase item, 101 Canadian Jokes, a quick-read, may particularly appeal to those children who aren't yet convinced that reading is something that they voluntarily want to do.
Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and adolescent literature in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.
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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.