________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 9 . . . . January 4, 2002

cover Matthew's Midnight Adventures.

Allen Morgan. Illustrated by Michael Martchenko.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2001.
80 pp., cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 1-55037-699-3.

Subject Headings:
Holmes, Matthew (Fictitious character)-Juvenile fiction.
Night-Juvenile fiction.
Children's stories, Canadian (English).

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7.

Review by Lorraine Douglas.

**** /4

This volume is a large-size repackaging of three very popular "Matthew" stories: Matthew and the Midnight Tow Truck (1984); Matthew and the Midnight Turkeys (1985); and Matthew and the Midnight Money Van (1987). Annick has been successful in previously repackaging the "Munsch" stories, many of which are illustrated by Michael Martchenko in the same exuberant style he uses here in the "Matthew" stories.


"Matthew and the midnight tow truck driver went all around the city that night hooking cars together. First they got a station wagon. Then they picked up a van. Matthew was feeling a little hungry from all the work. So was the midnight tow truck driver. "Let's pull over and have a snack," he suggested. "

In Matthew and the Midnight Tow Truck, the boy loses his toy van. Then he awakes just after midnight to the flashing lights of a tow truck. Hopping on board, Matthew is invited to "hook" a car and drive around hooking more cars that are traded with other tow truck drivers. They munch on red licorice (Matthew's favorite) and go to a car wash that shrinks the cars. The driver gives Matthew a special gift of a van to keep. After Matthew recounts his adventures to his mother (with the toy van as "proof"), they toddle off to the store to get red licorice to celebrate.



"Then the midnight turkeys took off their shoes and threw them away, they pulled off their socks and tied them in knots. They laughed and giggled and wiggled their bums, they pushed out their bellies and bumped each other whenever they could, and when they did the said "Excuse me," and fell down."

In Matthew and the Midnight Turkeys, the boy digs holes in the garden to capture the turkeys who come out just after midnight. The raucous turkeys find the trap and invite Matthew in for a night of messy cereal sandwich eating. The next morning, his mom finds her kitchen cover with "left-overs" and "left-unders."


"The midnight mounted geese police were cleaning the pennies up off the streets with bamboni machines. Many of the midnight turkeys were there. They were flipping the pennies up into the air yelling, "Heads or tails!" at the top of their lungs, and some of the sillier ones even flipped themselves to see which way they'd land. The mysterious moose was out there too, and the dangerous pigeons were hanging around just lurking for trouble."

In Matthew and the Midnight Money Van, the boy saves his pennies in a "van" bank and wishes that he were rich so he could buy his mother a nice gift for Mother's Day. Just after midnight, it rains pennies all over the street, and Matthew and the midnight moneyman sweep them up. They go to midnight madness with all the zany animals including the midnight mounted geese. He buys his mom a diamond ring that he puts in a safe place at home. The next day, he can't find the ring, but then it tumbles out of the cereal box for his mom.

     These whimsical and droll stories appeal to kids' humour and love of the unexpected. The full color cartoon style illustrations perfectly match the playful spirit of the wacky stories. The pages are a larger size than the original and have nice touches in the page design like the tow truck or turkey or money bucket decorative elements by the page numbers. This volume is an excellent value for libraries wishing to refurbish their "Matthew" collections, and it will introduce a new generation of kids to these enjoyable stories.

Highly Recommended.

Lorraine Douglas is Youth Services Coordinator for the Winnipeg Public Library System in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364