CM . . .
. Volume XVI Number 23. . . .February 19, 2010
Jack's sixth birthday is filled with boring, predictable presents until the final one from an unknown and mysterious uncle. This present is equally mysterious - and the only instructions are to "Relax, open your mind, and repeat the words: Think, think, think-a-ma-jink, hulla-ba-loo, razza-ma-doo..." So begins Jack's adventures as he and his little sister, Marie, use the Think-a-ma-jink to enter the unexplored world of their imaginations. When the device is broken, Jack is devastated until he discovers he doesn't need it to access his own imagination.
Dave Whamond, a successful cartoonist, has turned his considerable skills to visualizing the fantastic landscape of a child's mind. He creates zany, energetic images in vibrant colours and fills them with humour appropriate both for children and the adults reading to them. For instance, when Marie turns Jack into a smelly Princess Stinkerbell, he responds by changing her into a Scottish Gargyle (a stone gargoyle covered in an argyle pattern). Carefully designed with attention to size and placement of the pictures and the variation in font size, this works well as a read-aloud for individual and group storytime. An entertaining promotion for the power of creative play.
Alison Mews is the librarian of the Curriculum Materials Centre at the Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's, NL.
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