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Heine, Helme.

Toronto, Annick Press, c1984. unpaged, paper-bound boards, $5.95, ISBN 0-920236-81-2. (Three Little Friends) CIP

Pre-School-Grade 3
Reviewed by Janice Foster

Volume 13 Number 1
1985 January

The Visitor, the third title in the Three Little Friends series, immediately attracts one's attention with its beautiful illustrations. The vivid watercolours and the expressive, comical characterizations are the highlights of the book. Unfortunately, the text does not measure up, and this reader became disillusioned with the actual story line.

At the beginning of the book, the handwritten prologue seems to focus on the Utopian idealism of the story, set on a farm called Mudpy. This leads the reader to search for a message. However, the narrative leaves the reader with the feeling that something is missing. Perhaps this is due to the vagueness of the message, which seems to involve Wiggle the pig's visitor, the lamb Little Cloud, and Wiggle's treatment of his other friends, or perhaps it is because of the disjointed text. The vocabulary level is difficult for the suggested age group.

With its attractive illustrations, cute characters, and the good quality of paper and binding, it is disappointing that the narrative is so weak. After the initial reading, this book is not likely to be requested again.

Janice Foster, Winnipeg, Man.
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