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John Bianchi.
Newburgh, ON: Bungalo Books, 1989.
26pp., paper, $4.95.
ISBN 0-921285-16-7. cloth, $12.95. ISBN 0-921285-18-3. Distributed by Flrefly Books. CIP.

Kindergarten-grade 6 / Ages 5-11

Reviewed by Linda Holeman.

Volume 18 Number 1
1990 Jnauary

Following the tradition of his previous Bungalo books, The Bungalo Boys: The Tree Ranchers (Bungalo Books, 1986) and The Bungalo Boys: Bushmen's Brouhaha ¹, John Bianchi has once again created a funny and fast-paced action book. This time the emphasis is on that favourite Canadian pastime, hockey.

The bumbling Bungalo boys, along with player-coach Ma Bungalo and Projectile "The Wonder Dog," are up against a mystery team from the NHL (that's the "Natural" Hockey League). The sight of the first team members - a trio of puzzled penguins - gives the Bungalo gang a chuckle as they imagine an easy win. But then the rest of the team arrives - three huge and menacing "Bruins" - yes, real bears! The mismatched teams take their places, and the hilarious game gets under way. By the end of the game (and the book) the Bungalo team does reign victorious, but only after a series of silly events and mishaps that will delight the audience.

The text is peppered with legitimate hockey jargon, but Bianchi's comical illustrations are self-explanatory for anyone not familiar with the game. He is perhaps most well known for his cartooning skills, and tiny details in the lively, brightly coloured drawings will amuse both older readers and younger listeners.

Creator of television's popular "Raccoon" characters, John Bianchi has won many nominations and awards for his own stories as well as his work as a freelance illustrator. His talent is certainly evident in this humorous and eyecatching book.

Linda Holeman, Winnipeg, MB.

¹ Reviewed vol. XVI/4 July 1988, p.145.

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