________________ CM . . . . Volume VI Number 12 . . . . February 18, 2000

cover Smarty Pants. (A Norah Book.)

Colleen Sydor. Illustrated by Suzane Langlois.
Montreal, PQ: Lobster Press Ltd., 1999.
32 pp., cloth, $15.95.
ISBN 10894-222-06-7.

Subject Headings:
Aunts-Juvenile fiction.
Superstition-Juvenile fiction.
Schools-Juvenile fiction.

Kindergarten-grade 4 / Ages 5-9.
Review by Susan Fonseca.

**** /4


At times like that Auntie Norah tries hard not to crack a smile But she always ends up exploding, spit and giggles flying everywhere.
image This book is another treasure from Lobster Press. Norah is spending a week with her name-sake, Great-Aunt Norah, while her mother is away. Norah loves her aunt because she has a wonderful sense of humour and loves to play games. Her aunt is also rather unusual, but so is Norah, and they do a good job of building each other's self-esteem. The twist to the story is that Aunt Norah is very superstitious and is careful not to walk on the cracks of the sidewalk and takes forever to toss her dice as they play. One evening Norah refuses to shake out her clothes three times before she goes to bed, and her aunt is horrified but understanding. The antics of the next day are delightful and very cleverly developed with a little suspense and much laughter.

Winnipeg author Colleen Sydor's narrative is presented in the first person and is a joy to share with young children. Her words manage to create beautiful images which are equally matched by Suzanne Langlois' soft but animated water colors. This would be an excellent book to read with children when discussing how to make the best of what could be a very embarrassing situation. Norah loves to joke and is not afraid to encourage others to laugh with her. The story also provides excellent examples of techniques that help to build self-worth as Aunt Norah encourages Norah's creative ability. She is forever running for something that Norah can sign so that she will have her great niece's autograph when she is famous one day. This is a truly positive book about two people who are grateful for what they have. Brighten everyone's day by sharing this book with them!

Highly Recommended.

Susan Fonseca is a teacher-librarian at Glenwood School in Winnipeg, MB.

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