________________ CM . . . . Volume IV Number 9 . . . . January 2, 1998

cover A Winter's Tale.

Ian Wallace.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books, 1997.
32 pp., hardcover, $15.95.
ISBN 0-88899-286-6.

Subject Headings:
Winter-Juvenile fiction.
Camping-Juvenile fiction.
Deer-Juvenile fiction.

Kindergarten - grade 4 / Ages 5 - 9.
Review by Val Nielsen.

**** /4

image When Abigail's mother asks her what she wants for her ninth birthday, Abigail doesn't hesitate for a second. She wants to go winter camping with her father and brother who have been making an annual trek into the bush for the past five years.

      Explaining that "Winter camping just isn't my idea of a good time," Abigail's mother sends her off with a bag of muffins, a camera and a promise to enjoy the pictures and stories she will bring back. The winter adventure lives up to all Abigail's expectations. As the trio treks across the frozen countryside on snowshoes, Abigail is awed by the beauty of the bush around her, "... a pristine landscape rolling with hills as silent as sleeping polar bears." Cooking over a campfire and making a bed of pine boughs in the snow delight Abigail, but the high point of her adventure occurs when she plays a pivotal role in rescuing a young deer tangled in fishing line on a frozen lake. Ian Wallace's double-spread illustration of the rescued deer leaping for freedom against a pale moon-silhouetted sky is breathtaking. Indeed, the award-winning author-illustrator will not disappoint his admirers in A Winter's Tale. Wallace's style of realism combines bold colours with soft shadings to evoke the magic and mystery of Canada's northern woodlands. End papers depicting a nighttime scene with a winter moon illuminating icy cliffs and a stark tree foreshadow the mood and setting of this gentle, yet satisfying, story. Wallace weaves love of the outdoors and respect for the environment subtly into his text and pictures while avoiding the heavy-handedness which sometimes mars books with similar themes. Teacher-librarians will want to buy this beautiful book for primary teachers who are always on the lookout for new materials on a winter theme. Parents and grandparents will also enjoy sharing A Winter's Tale with young listeners at this time of year.

Highly recommended.

Val Nielsen is teacher librarian at Bairdmore School in Winnipeg, MB.

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