CM . . . .
Volume VI Number 20 . . . . June 9, 2000
Loon Lake was a quiet place. Pathways and roads wound like vines around cottages, gardens, and patches of green grass. Everyone enjoyed the peace and quiet. Everyone, that is, except Mr. Pike. Early one morning he looked out across the calm lake. "This place is too quiet" he decided. "What we need here is more action. Let's have a fishing derby."Hoping to snag a big one, fishermen flocked to the Loon Lake Fishing Derby. But what did they need most to catch their elusive prey? Bait, in particular, worms. Wally Dale had a plan; he knew where to get worms - his mother's garden, and he could make a profit. But, soon everyone was selling worms, friends were fighting, the lovely gardens and lawns were all being dug up, flowers were wilting, and no one was catching fish. Could Wally come up with another plan to save the gardens, maintain sustainable development, and keep his profits? This is a delightful, but not moralizing, little book that children will surely enjoy.
Dean Griffiths' charming watercolor illustrations of the quaint town, its pristine surroundings, and its animal inhabitants complement the book's tone. The idea of youthful entrepreneurship is a concept to which many children will relate. Certainly, numerous ideas and stories can be generated and developed from Wally's sally into venture capitalism. As well, the idea that the environment and friendships may be harmed in the competition for limited resources and market opportunities provides an interesting basis for discussions in both science and social studies.
Ian Stewart lives in Winnipeg is a regular contributor to CM and the book review pages of the Winnipeg Free Press. He enjoys the outdoors when it's quiet.
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