________________ CM . . . . Volume VI Number 10 . . . . January 21, 2000

cover Three Sensible Adventures.

Greg Wilson. Illustrated by William Lytle.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 1999.
56 pp., pbk. & cloth, $8.95 (pbk.), $18.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55037-598-9 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55037-599-7 (cl.).

Subject Heading:
Children's stories, Canadian (English).

Grades 1-5 / Ages 6-10.
Review by Liz Greenaway.

** /4


Once upon a time there were two sisters, whose names were Red Tam and Green Tam.

Red Tam was the eldest, because the witch who made them made her first. She was stronger than anyone you've ever met. One day, just for fun, she picked up the hill behind her house and moved it out from under the road. The farmers who lived nearby were grateful, as their horses no longer had to pull their carts all the way up the hill. When winter came Red Tam put the hill back, so that children would have somewhere to toboggan.

Green Tam was as slender as her sister was strong. Her hair was as tangled as the wool in her knitting basket. All the animals loved Green Tam.

So begins the first of the Three Sensible Adventures featuring the unusual sister team of Green and Red Tam. A cross between Pippi Longstocking and WWF wrestlers, the sisters are quick to come to the rescue of anyone in need, including a troll threatened by an evil thief, a prince captured by a fierce band of pirates and a pirate whose beloved clock has been stolen by a dragon. The sisters are brave, self-reliant and creative in battling any foe.

The language of the stories is timeless and evokes the tone of fairy tales of old. While it will be enjoyed by anyone already familiar with this genre, it may be a little stiff for anyone more accustomed to faster paced storytelling. The meandering stories demand a long attention span, more suited to independent reading than a class read-aloud.

William Lytle's watercolor illustrations are beautiful, but they don't always go far enough in creating a story of their own. By sticking very closely to the text, at times the illustrations seem a little flat.

Anyone looking for something more after reading all the fairy tales of Grimm and Andersen, but not quite ready for C.S. Lewis or Tolkien, will enjoy the mad-cap adventures of these sisters.

Recommended with Reservations.

Liz Greenaway is a former bookseller living in Edmonton, AB.

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

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364