CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 12. . . . February 14, 2003
The irrepressible Jillian Jiggs has been delighting young audiences for years. Unfortunately, due to the untimely death of author/illustrator Phoebe Gilman in August 2002, Jillian Jiggs and the Great Big Snow will be the last in this series.
There has been a big snowfall the night before, and Jillian and her friends can't wait to get out and play in the snow. There's one problem: Jillian always loses her hat, and so she decided to wear one from her costume box that is meant for a Martian costume.
Jillian and her friends have a wonderful time, building a Martian snow village, pretending their sleds are Martian ships, and revelling in the new snow. There's only one problem: when Jillian turns to go home, she has lost not only her hat but her mitts and scarf as well!
Gilman's illustrations are big, colourful and humourous, reflecting the fact that Gilman was once an instructor at the Ontario College of Art. Young readers will also enjoy locating where Jillian's missing articles disappear to in her pictures. Gilman's rhythmic, rhyming verse (also a "Jillian Jiggs" trademark) is fun to read. Consider: "Swooping and looping, they dove and they dipped, Not even stopping when they flopped or flipped."
Any child who has enjoyed playing in the snow, or who wishes s/he had, should enjoy this one. The death of this talented Canadian artist is indeed to be regretted. This picture book is definitely recommended for the Nursery-Kindergarten crowd.
Helen Norrie is a Winnipeg, MB, writer and reviewer. Her column, "Children's Books," appears monthly in the Winnipeg Free Press.
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