CM . . . .
Volume VII Number 1 . . . . September 8, 2000
At bedtime, Jane tells a story to her sister Rebecca about four princesses who all look exactly the same. In fact, the four girls are copies of each other. The story unfolds with Rebecca's asking a question and Jane's adding a piece of the whole until the adventure is complete. First comes the earthquake, without any warning, which sends the princesses traveling through space and time; then come the landings in strange places, such as Ancient Egypt and the Wild West.The author of The Trailer Park Princesses, Pete Marlowe, is a new voice in children's literature. His gift for creating convincing seven-year-old conversation carries the reader right into the imaginary meanderings of his appealing and adventurous protagonists. Seemingly simple though his text is, Marlowe's style is sophisticated, inventive and slyly humourous. Charming acrylic paintings by Leanne Franson, illustrator of The Girl Who Hated Books (1998) and Jessica Takes Charge (1999), are suggestive of Kady McDonald Denton's style and capture the tongue-in-cheek mood of The Trailer Park Princesses perfectly. The moral of this story is both cleverly conceived and subtly delivered, making it a very pleasant change from the kind of heavy-handedness which sometimes afflicts children's picture books. The tale would work well as a reader's theatre piece for grades two to four; however, the many pages of dialogue without tags will tend to make the book a little confusing as a read-aloud.
Valerie Nielsen is a retired teacher-librarian living in Winnipeg, MB.
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