CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Sondheimer, Ilse.

Pictures by dee de Rosa. Fayetteville (N.Y.), Rainbow Press, c1982. unpaged, paper, $2.95, ISBN 0-943156-01-7. Distributed by Raincoast Books.

Pre-School-Grade 1
Reviewed by Fran Newman

Volume 13 Number 1
1985 January

The title pretty well says it all. Danny is small. His mother is a "very, very big lady" with two voices, a soft, blue-blanket one for the new baby brother and a big, lion's voice for Danny. Small children may respond to familiar words such as: "How many times do I have to tell you. . ." and "It would serve you right. . . ." They will recognize why Danny cries when he cannot find his rain-coat and he is "sure his mother will yell again." The young reader may or may not understand why Danny's mother cries and says she does not know what to do any more.

The part of the story that just does not work for me is the way Danny gets his mother to stop yelling. He tells her that if she stops using her lion's voice, then he will be obedient and good, and will even help his baby brother to be neat and good when he grows up. At the end of the story his mother promises to try.

Having raised five children, I find that idea far too facile and simplistic. Young children who may try to make such a deal with their mothers might believe it will really happen that way, and be disillusioned. Life is a series of ups and downs, punishments and hugs, and you cannot change things with a few words. If Danny's mother were suffering from post-partum blues, for instance she will get over her bad moods to some extent, but a few words from a pre-schooler will be unlikely to suffice.

The drawings are softly beautiful and stronger than the story. They are almost worth the price of the paperback.

Fran Newman, Spring Valley P.S., Brighton, Ont.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are 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 Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works