________________ CM . . . . Volume IV Number 15 . . . . March 27, 1998

cover The Invisible Day.

Marthe Jocelyn. Illustrated by Abby Carter.
Toronto, ON: Tundra, 1997.
135 pp., hardcover, $14.99.
ISBN 0-88776-412-6.

Grades 2 - 6 / Ages 7 - 11.
Review by Mary Thomas.

**** /4


"But there is still one thing I'm curious about..."

I felt a warning prickle all over my body.

"I've been wondering...I didn't see you today...Mr. Belenky said you weren't in chorus. Alyssa said you weren't in class, even though I heard you shouting in the halls a couple of times... What actually happened?"

She looked at me with those smart eyes and I knew I was caught.

"Mom," I said. I looked up at the ceiling for guidance.

I decided to take a chance.

"Mom, here's what happened. I found a pot of magic powder, but I didn't know it was magic. When I put it on, I disappeared. I called the person whose name was with the powder and she said to come over so she could cure me. Hubert came, too, as my gallant protector. And it's a good thing he did because we needed chewed-up gum to make the potion. And you know how good Hubert is with gum, right?"

I looked at my mother to make sure she was following me. She cleared her throat.

"Billie, you have a fertile imagination."

Who has not, at some point, wished to be invisible, to be able to sneak, eavesdrop, and pry with impunity... because no one can ever know! As the above excerpt explains, that is exactly what happened to Billy Stover, the 10-year-old elder daughter of a single mother living in New York. Billie thinks her mother is over-protective, and she KNOWS she is omnipresent! Not only is their loft apartment not divided so that Billie can have a space of her own other than her upper bunk, but also her mother is the librarian at her school and feels that weekends should be full of fun things done together as a family threesome! So this invisible day, while difficult and definitely a learning experience, was also a great adventure.

      This is a fun book, with a strong female protagonist and an interesting, without being harrowing, storyline. It is also a relief to read a book which, although written in the first person from a child's point of view and in a child's voice, is not full of abyssmal grammar and Junie-B.-Jones-type cutsey slang! On the other hand, it has its "gross" aspects (particularly the antidote to the invisibility powder which involves bathing in a mixture of, among other things, crushed dog biscuits and the squeezings from wads of freshly chewed gum!) which will have young readers giggling and fascinated.

Highly recommended.

Mary Thomas works in two elementary school libraries in Winnipeg, and, yes, she would LOVE to be invisible for a day!

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © 1998 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