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Peacock, David.

Willowdale (Ont.), Hounslow Press, c1986, unpaged, paper-bound boards, $12.95, ISBN 0-88882-086-0.

K-Grade 3
Reviewed by Maryleah Otto

Volume 15 Number 2
1987 March

If Loch Ness can have a sea serpent, why not Grenadier Pond? Here is a fun-filled fantasy that will have youngsters in Toronto begging their parents to be taken to High Park to see if there are any more friendly monsters who eat breadcrusts from children's hands. This is the story of Willy, a newcomer to Toronto, who enjoys feeding the ducks and geese on Grenadier Pond. One night, a sea serpent rises from the depths, as eager for a snack as are the waterbirds. Willy, alone at the time, is duly terrified, until he realizes that the creature is really rather shy, and hungry merely for crusts of bread, not hapless children. On hearing about their son's curious adventure, Willy's parents are surprised, but not unbelieving. The news spreads, and soon the park is cluttered with TV crews, crowds of onlookers, instant profiteers, and a professor, but Willy's monster fails to show. The summer wanes, the TV people go away, the sightseers drift off, leaving only Willy and the professor to stare into the dark waters of the pond. Then, while the professor is explaining why the existence of landlocked sea creatures is possible, the serpent rises again. Lured by more crusts of bread, it emerges from the pond, follows Willy and the professor across Lake-shore Boulevard down to the shore of Lake Ontario, where it happily swims away to freedom.

Author/illustrator David Peacock has filled his book with wonderful full-page scenes of Willy, the park, the pond, the birds, the sea serpent, and all the other pertinent events of the story. The pictures have just enough detail to enhance the text and the colours are excellent. The endpapers, which show the main streets of Toronto as well as an awesome collection of sea monsters, are especially attractive. The book has been produced on high quality paper and is beautifully printed. Public and school libraries should definitely buy this one, and private buyers will appreciate it for gift giving.

Maryleah Otto, St. Thomas, Ont.
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