________________ CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 23. . . .February 15, 2013

cover

Flying Low.

Alain M. Bergeron. Illustrated by Sampar. Translated by Marie-Michele Gingras.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2012.
48 pp., pbk., $3.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-1392-2.

Subject Heading:
Abel, Dominic (Fictitious character)-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.

Review by Robert Groberman.

* /4

   

excerpt:

Okay, they say that what goes up must come down. The opposite must be true, right?

I tug again.

I guess not.

I don't find this very funny anymore. Plus, it's hot in this stall. Sweat is rolling down my forehead.

 

This story, by Alain M. Bergeron, originally titled Zzzut!: un roman in its original French, is about Dominic, a young boy feeling quite confident about giving an oral presentation to his class after recess. While using the washroom during recess, he finds to his horror that the zipper on his pants has become stuck in the down position, and thus the entire rest of the story is about his panic about how to get his zipper up, how to get to class to do his assignment with no one noticing his zipper problem or seeing his underwear, and what the consequences would be of staying in the bathroom. Eventually, his friends come looking for him, his vice principal comes in looking for him, his teacher comes looking for him and eventually his whole class comes into the boys' washroom to see what the trouble is.

internal art     This situation seems easily solvable by a towel wrapped around his waist or phoning home for a new pair of pants. This is a non-problem that many boys the age of the reader will probably have had or heard of. The eventual solution of having Dominic give his presentation to his class from behind the toilet stall door, while his class is seated on the washroom floor and his teacher listens with them, does not seem plausible even in a story that is meant to be just silly. Dom seems like a character that is looking for a real solution, but no one else in the story has a clue.

      The illustrations in this book by Samuel Parent are expressive and add action to an otherwise actionless story.

Not Recommended.

Robert Groberman is a grade three teacher at Kirkbride Elementary School in Surrey, 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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