CM . . . .
Volume VI Number 6 . . . . November 12, 1999
I asked my mom if I could go out and sail my boat in the puddle. She said, "Okay. But you stay out of the puddles."These opening sentences prepare the reader for the inevitable adventure ahead. Through imaginative encounters with a frog, a turtle, an alligator, a pig and an elephant, a young boy spends an interesting day sailing his boat in a perfect puddle. He then returns home where a hot bath and another sailing experience, this time without the assistance of his animal acquaintances, await him.
David McPhail has written and illustrated several children's books including Pigs Aplenty, Pigs Galore and Andrew's Bath. His choice of illustration medium, water colour, creates the perfect rainy day setting for the boy's imaginative adventures. Use of bright colours for the characters enhances the development of the story as it focuses the reader's attention on each animal. Unfortunately, the second last illustration of the boy, which is not clearly penned, creates a situation which slightly confuses the reader as to the child's gender. The simple text, interspersed amongst the illustrations, allows the beginning reader to enjoy an independent reading experience and to be able to stop frequently to become engaged with the delightful illustrations. The Puddle is also a book adults will enjoy reading aloud to young children.
Janice Foster is an Early Years ELA Coordinator in the Fort Garry School Division, Winnipeg, MB.
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