________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 4 . . . .October 14, 2005

cover

Discovering Emily. (Orca Young Readers).

Jacqueline Pearce.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2004.
97 pp., pbk., $7.95.
ISBN 1-55143-295-1.

Subject Heading:
Carr, Emily, 1871-1945-Chilhood and youth-Juvenile fiction.
Artists-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10.

Review by Irene Schlarb.

**** /4

   

excerpt:

Emily wasn't sure what it was that she wanted to do or be. Alice wanted to grow up and be a mother. Lizzie wanted to be a missionary. It was easy for them. They were good at things. But Emily didn't seem to be good at anything except, maybe, getting into trouble.

 

A lover of animals and the outdoors, young Emily Carr finds the rules and expectations of 19th century Victoria, British Columbia, difficult to conform to as she is growing up, and she is often punished for her inability to live up to them. Then, she begins to discover how much joy the processes of drawing and painting give her. As well, her artistic talents begin to be recognized, first, by her father in the form of art lessons, and then by Miss Woods, her art teacher, when she chooses Emily's work as the winner in a class art contest. Even Dede, oldest sister and family disciplinarian, recognizes Emily's talent. Although Discovering Emily is a work of fiction, Pearce states that her main sources for Emily's experiences are Emily's own descriptions of episodes in her childhood, descriptions which are found in Carr's books, Growing Pains: An Autobiography (Irwin, 1946) and The Book of Small (Irwin, 1942). The author evokes the reader's sympathy for Emily's plight, as well as joy for her accomplishments.

     Included in the book are six black and white illustrations, along with the cover art. The illustrator, Ren Benoit, includes the following note at the back of the book: "The illustrations of the house and of the yard are from the actual house where Emily Carr grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, at 44 Carr Street (now 207 Government Street). The illustrations of Emily's family are also drawn from historical photographs." Discovering Emily provides a good introduction for young readers to the artist's life. Emily's Dream continues Emily's life story.

Highly Recommended.

Irene Schlarb is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

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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