CM Archive
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Jan Andrews. Illustrated by Ian Wallace.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood, 1985.
unpaged, paperbound boards, $10.95.
ISBN 0-88899043-X. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Inuit-Juvenile fiction.
Sea stories.
Canada-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 1-4 / Ages 6-9

Reviewed by Joanne Robertson.

Volume 14 Number 3
1986 May

Combining brilliant illustrations with an interesting well-written story, Very Last First Time is a delight for both adult and child. It is sure to win many accolades for Jan Andrews and Ian Wallace. Set in an exotic Canadian locale (Ungava Bay in Northern Canada), it is the story of Eva, a young Inuit girl, who goes mussel collecting under the sea ice, by herself, for the first time, her very last first time. Because Eva overcomes her fears and panic, and successfully accomplishes her task, the general mood of the book is a positive one. The book has emotional appeal, as well as universal appeal. We can all identify with Eva's experience.

The illustrations help set the mood Ian Wallace's stippling technique creates a shimmering texture and his use of colour creates a fantasy-like impression of shadows and twilight. The illustrations can be studied many times with new details being noticed each time. These details are an integral part of Eva's story.

Very Last First Time would be an excellent addition to any child's or to any children's library. It is highly recommended.

Joanne Robertson, The Pas, MB.
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