CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 2. . . .September 13, 2013
Want to go to a party? Look no further than Whatís Going on at the Time Tonight?, a delightful rhyming book where sea creatures frolic at a Newfoundland ďtimeĒ or party beneath the sea.
Gerald Mercer has dedicated this book to his grandchildren, stating, ďMay you grow up knowing the Atlantic Ocean and the treasures that lie within.Ē As such, the author has provided a wonderful environment for not only his grandchildren, but all children to become educated and to familiarize themselves with an array of sea life, including crabs, jellyfish, mussels, lobsters, flounder, and squid. Mercer has also presented menu items for the party using other living animals, plants and bacteria that reside in the ocean, some of which are actual food sources for humans in countries around the world.
Children will be encouraged to interact through rhyme and repetition as questions are posed to engage as well as reinforce what is involved in planning a party.
The illustrations are dominant on the pages, an approach which helps facilitate the story. They are also playful, fun, and appropriate to the party theme. Holly DeWolf uses a wonderful mix of rich colours such as red, green, brown, gold and beige against a sky blue background that accentuates the various sea life and their activities to great effect. However, the background and text colours change on the pages where questions are initiated. The typeface is simple and clear, with isolated words bolded and capitalized throughout.
Whatís Going on at the Time Tonight? is a terrific introduction to a customary practice of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. The book can also serve as an important stepping stone for children to become interested in, as well as have an appreciation for, how people in other environments live, their cultural norms, values, and beliefs.
Harriet Minuk is a librarian at Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.
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