CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 2 . . . . September 20, 2002
Like the earlier Munschworks collections, this 10" x 10" volume contains five previously published Munsch titles, with the five works originally appearing between 1984 and 1995. The first four titles (50 Below Zero, The Boy in the Drawer, Moira's Birthday and From Far Away) were illustrated in comic style by Munsch's principal illustrator, Michael Martchenko, while the collection's closing book, Millicent and the Wind, was illustrated more realistically by Suzanne Duranceau. As the volume is simply a repackaging of already published works, readers should not expect to find anything new. The larger page size does mean that the illustrations will be more visible to small groups of children should the book be used during a library's story time. In some of the stories, the text's paragraphing arrangement has been modified to follow the convention that a new speaker requires a new paragraph. Again, this change will be of assistance to those individuals who are reading the stories out loud. Unlike some of the previous Munschworks collections, the illustrations in this volume, when compared with those in the original stand alone books, are, for the most part, actually more intense or brighter in color than the 8" x 8" originals. My sole criticism of the collection is that the explanation regarding how Munsch came to co-author From Far Away with Saoussan Askar has been lost because that information had only appeared on the outside of the original book's back cover. Omissions of that type should be avoided in any subsequent collections, and, in the case of this volume, should be corrected in future printings. A great value in terms both of its content and its cost, Munschworks 4 would be a fine gift for an individual child or would make a most useful addition to school or public library collections.
Dave Jenkinson teachers courses in children's and YA literature at the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.
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