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Wence Horai.
Illustrated by Sarie Jenkins.

Toronto, Three Tree Press, c1982.
unpaged, paper, $10.95 (paperbound boards), $4.95 (paper).
ISBN 0-88823-043-5 (paperbound boards), 0-88823-036-2 (paper).

Grades K-8.
Reviewed by Sharon Young.

Volume 11 Number 1.
1983 January.

In this book, the baker's wife's heart has grown cold at death. Consequently, he eases his grief by moulding warm memories of the past in dough. Towards the end of the book, a visitor, calling his dough pictures art, wants to display them. At first he is uncertain about sharing his personal thoughts. However, he discovers that showing his pictures brings him out of the past and involves him with new people and the present.

First appearances suggest Baker's Heaven is designed for primary children. The illustrator Sarie Jenkins uses brown-tone watercolours effectively to present the dough pictures. The book would make an exciting introduction to baking and dough art, the major strength of the book. My primary class was eager to make dough pictures after my presentation of the story.

They missed however, author Wence Horai's theme altogether. Recovering from the death of a loved one was not within their personal experience. Even those children who had lost a relative could not relate to the story.

It would take a good storyteller to bring out the important theme elements. Perhaps, like the importance of fairy tales in our culture, understanding will come with maturity. There is a place for Baker's Heaven in every elementary school library.

Sharon Young, Gateway Drive P. S., Guelph, ON.
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