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Irene Punt
Illustrated by Tina Holdcroft

Toronto, Scholastic-TAB, 1989. 32pp, paper, $4.95
ISBN 0-590-73204-8. CIP

Kindergarten to grade 2/Ages 5 to 7
Reviewed by Howard Hurt.

Volume 18 Number 1
1990 January

It's just about meaningless to apply rigid guidelines for picture-books. Some favourites have genuine plots, encourage thinking, exhibit great prose and are blessed with illustrations of undisputed excellence. However, it's easy to think of many that are chosen again and again by children even though or perhaps because they lack all these attributes. In the end, intellectual standards must come second to whether the books are used and enjoyed.

The Bop is an example of one that might well be scorned by librarians but loved by primary pupils. A girl gets up with a crazy tune in her head. Not only can she not stop singing and tapping her toes but she spreads it like the plague to family, neighbours and the world. The madness only abates as she falls ex­hausted into bed...with another little ditty beginning to resound in her subconscious. It's an unlikely and zany story but children will undoubtedly accept it and enjoy it as just that.

The illustrations are colourful, vibrant and catchy cartoons. Adults will equate them with comics but, again, children will undoubtedly see nothing negative about that.

It's fun and it's harmless. Certainly school and public libraries will get full value at the price of $4.95. Perhaps the most important consideration is the age for which it could be used. The text is simple enough for the very young reader but the subject matter and style of drawings might well appeal to eight-, nine- or even ten-year-olds. I suspect that it might see heavy use as bait for reluctant readers or as practice in remedial sessions.

Howard Hurt, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.
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