CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 21 . . . . June 20, 2003
Kushner. Illustrated by Sylvie Daigneault.
Toronto, ON: Tundra, 2003.
32 pp., cloth, $22.99.
2 / Ages 3-7.
by Harriet Zaidman.
Peter peered into
the cradle. The pixie crawled out from under the blanket and set
to rocking, side to side. Peter heard his parents' footsteps behind
him and turned around. The cradle was still rocking when he looked
at it again, but it was empty.
old for the cradle now, Peter," said his mother. "That's
for the new baby."
recall that, as children, they observed the world and had weighty
concerns about what was happening around them. How that concern manifests
itself is different with every child. In Peter’s Pixie,
the child’s relationship with the “mystic” next
door neighbour, Aunt Agnes, assists Peter in dealing with his loneliness
and accepting the birth of a new little brother. Peter sees a pixie
at the oddest moments. Aunt Agnes advises him to shower it with gifts,
such as a bowl of milk or a pot of water. The pixie’s playful
antics and the placement of his gifts lead to misunderstanding by
Peter’s parents who gently admonish him to be more responsible.
Peter is lonely when the pixie disappears, but he discovers that the
best gift for his pixie is the new baby, his new playmate whose bright
blue eyes twinkle just like his magical friend.
Kushner was a microbiologist who was also a musician and wrote for
children. He passed away in 2001. The book is published by his estate
with a loving foreword written by his nephew. Kushner obviously remembered
and understood how a child’s mind works. This is a warm, gentle
story that would be perfect for parents to read to children before
and after the birth of a new sibling.
Daigneault’s illustrations, with softened lines and muted colours,
are a beautiful complement to the text. A few of the pictures are
presented from the perspective of the pixie. Oversized mushrooms are
magical-looking. A sense of continual motion comes from fairies that
swish through the air (without being noticed) and tree bows that bend
over the cradle protectively. The summertime setting provides more
opportunities to embellish the drawings with flowers, greenery and
children will enjoy this story and will want to explore the illustrations
over and over. Parents will appreciate the assistance it can offer
as young children adjust to momentous changes in their lives.
Zaidman is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
on this title or this review, send mail to email@example.com.
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.
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