CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 19 . . . . May 23, 2003
has a problem. His cousin, Margaret, has come to stay, bringing her
collection of Barbie dolls with her and, while he has no interest
in Barbies, Sebastian decides that he does want a collection i.e.,
more than two of something. Consultation with his father fixes
on his two coin banks as a basis to which his father promises to add
both an old dime bank, when he has time to find it, and a new bank
that he'll buy while he's away on his weekly sales trip. And Sebastian
is sure that his grandmother Emily will give him her piggy bank for
his collection. However, to his astonishment, Grandma Emily says no!
Grandmothers are not supposed to do things like that to their grandsons.
To compensate for his obvious disappointment, however, Grandma gives
him his father's eldest brother's collection of lead soldiers, accompanied
by reminiscences of how much Sebastian's father had liked Peter's
soldiers, and how often he had played with them while Peter was away
and then killed in Korea. Suddenly, the story ceases to focus on Sebastian's
collection of banks and instead follows his search for a set of shelves
on which to display the soldiers. Once found, the shelves need to
be painted, then positioned in his father's study, and filled, ready
to welcome him back from his week away from home. Both of them have
Because Sebastian’s Collection Connection is meant for children who are just learning to read, but who want a "real" book rather than a picture book, it suffers from a somewhat stilted style due to repetitious phrasing and a rather peculiar use/non use of contractions such as "don't" and "isn't.” It seems to me that, if one wants to use both full and contracted forms, it would make sense to use the latter in direct speech and the former in descriptive passages, but here the usage seems fairly random, and the resultant flow of language is somewhat uneven. It is a gentle and humourous story, however, one which a child should enjoy reading which is, after all, exactly what it is trying to be.
Mary Thomas is on leave from her library jobs in Winnipeg schools and spending her time in Oxford, England, doing ... other library jobs, of course!
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