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Illerbrun, W.J.

Illustrated by Al Sens. Lantzville (B.C.), Colichan Books, c1985. unpaged, paper, $7.95, ISBN 0-88982-0570.

Grade 1 and up
Reviewed by Maryleah Otto

Volume 14 Number 4
1986 July

In forty-six full-page cartoons and a couple of hundred words, film animator, Al Sens, and British Columbia poet, W.J. Illerbrun, tell the story of Benji's father, a passionate golfer who spends every waking moment trying to improve his game, and of Benji, who is given his first golf club at age two, along with plenty of coaching from his father. Benji dutifully tries to follow instructions, but with little success, until one day he takes a swing without any thought at all for lessons or technique, and (wouldn't you know it?) he drives the ball into a garden five houses down the street. The book ends with Benji swinging happily in the sunshine, surrounded by birdsong.

Basically, this is a fun book for adult golf freaks. Many of the terms, such as "slice," "sand wedge," and "chili-dipped" will mean nothing to children. The only appeal it would have, from a child's point of view, would be in seeing Benji succeed, without really trying, in something that required all his father's skill and effort to accomplish. The art is unappealing; rough black-and-white sketches with blobs of blue for colour. Consider this as a birthday present for your golf pals, but otherwise forget it.

Maryleah Otto, Etobicoke P.L., Etobicoke, Ont.
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