CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 9 . . . . January 4, 2002
This picture book contains five classic stories for preschoolers with accompanying crafts to extend the appreciation of the story. The stories are "The Golden Goose," illustrated by Alice Priestly; "My Messy Parents," illustrated by Kitty Macaulay; "The Mouse and the Elephant," illustrated by Vlasta van Kampen; "Touch the Moon," illustrated by Suzanne Langlois, and "Tug of War," illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes. Annick Press developed the book in conjunction with Crazy Quilt, a television show produced by Treehouse TV.
There are several problems with the book. One is that early years listeners are accustomed to less text-heavy pages than the ones presented here. It would be difficult to share the stories in a sharing circle in family literacy programs as the illustrations are on a small scale and are usually vignettes from the story. These vignettes are not presented in a linear fashion which follows the narrative but often surround the page. The stories, themselves, are very appealing, but the crafts would be hard for a preschooler's skill level and would need a great deal of adult assistance; however, the parts needing adult assistance are not designated in any way. For example, a child would have difficulty cutting felt for the toilet tube characters or gluing sponges together for the hippo. The major activities of the crafts are cutting and gluing, and so the child's role is not very imaginative or varied. There are no patterns for the crafts, and some of the activities, like gluing jingle bells to sponge for feet, would be frustrating.
Lorraine Douglas is the Youth Services Coordinator for Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.
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