CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 9 . . . . January 4, 2002
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.
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.
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."
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.
Lorraine Douglas is Youth Services Coordinator for the Winnipeg Public Library System in Winnipeg, MB.
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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.