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. Volume VIII Number 3 . . . . October 5, 2001
"Funny how more people talk to you, when you have a puppy"Based on the multiple award-winning book, How Smudge Came by Nan Gregory, this live-action 23 minute video is both charming and endearing.
Cindy, the main character, is played authentically by Andrea Friedman, who is a Downs Syndrome child living in a group home. One day on her way home from work, Cindy finds a puppy and tries to hide and keep her "best friend." But, because it is against the rules, the puppy, Smudge, is taken away to the SPCA. Cindy is heartbroken. The hospice where Cindy works comes to the rescue. It arranges to get the puppy back and for it to be kept there for all the patients to enjoy - "a good home indeed!"
This sweet, tender Christmas story reveals the special relationship that Cindy has with all the people she touches.
Although the audio is somewhat difficult to understand in the beginning, until the listener becomes accustomed to the Cindy's voice, Smudge is worthwhile to use in a classroom, especially if teachers provide some background and discussion prior to a class viewing it. Teachers could use this video as an introduction to Down's syndrome and to shed light on group homes and hospices.
Reesa Cohen is an Instructor in Children's Literature and Information Literacy at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba, and a freelance education and information services consultant.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.