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Fred Penner. Illustrated by Barbara Hicks.
Winnipeg, MB: Hyperion Press, 1984.
unpaged, paperbound boards, $12.95.
ISBN 0-920534-28-7. CIP.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 3-8

Reviewed by Dianne Harke.

Volume 13 Number 4
1985 July

Fred Penner has found success as a singing troubadour. The Cat Came Back and several other of his albums have delighted thousands of children. Now, following in the footsteps of Raffi and other musical personalities, he has teamed up with an illustrator to present a storybook adaptation of one of his songs.

The bump wants to be more than just a little bump. Something bigger, a hill, a mountain, a fierce volcano, would be a better fate, the bump muses. The self-pitying bump is saved by the arrival of a family who proceed to build a house on his friendly, comfortable slopes. Happy with these new companions and the stature that comes with being "the bump that you can see" in the middle of the flat prairie, the bump realizes his own worth.

This is the first in a series of books planned by Penner and illustrator Barbara Hicks, who provides artwork for the Canadian content portions of Sesame Street. Unfortunately, the collaboration, in this first book, at least, has not resulted in a very good product. Perhaps the fault lies with the lyrics. While The Bump may sing well, it does not read well. The lines are choppy and many of the illustrations seem to reflect this unevenness. These illustrations, while colorful and touched with welcome humour, do not seem right. Some of them seem overcrowded, others just look inappropriate. Suitable only for diehard Fred Penner fans.

Dianne Harke, Edmonton, AB.
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