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Nancy Wilcox Richards
Illustrated by Werner Zimmermann

Toronto, North Winds Press (A division of Scholastic-TAB), 1990. 24pp, laminated boards, $12.95
ISBN 0-590-73362-1. (Also available in French as Antoine va a la ville). CIP

Pre-school to Grade 2/Ages 4 to 7
Reviewed by Gwen Maguire.

Volume 18 Number 3
1990 May

This picture-book describes the adventures of the hard-working Farmer Joe as he travels to the big city in order to shop for a special birthday present for his wife. Children will be quite amused at the sight of Farmer Joe as he drives into the city in his green truck accompanied by a cow, pig, some chickens, and a couple of gophers. Nancy Wilcox Richards (author of Farmer Joe's Hot Day (North Winds Press, 1987)), skillfully uses simple, descriptive and sometimes repetitive language to relate the whizzing, zooming and speeding sounds of the city as Farmer Joe, along with all of his livestock, makes his way through the various sections of a huge department store in search of the perfect gift.

Werner Zimmermann (author and illustrator of two excellent concept picture-books entitled A Circle is Not a Valentine and The Colour of Spring) uses a combination of water-colours, paints and sketches to complement and extend the story. The detailed, attractive and colourful illustrations successfully capture the humour and action of the story. Children will thoroughly enjoy the sight of Farmer Joe as he attempts to prepare a special birthday breakfast for his wife. What a wonderful mess he creates!

This attractively illustrated picture-book combined with the large print and overall size of the text (8.5" by 10.5") is sure to appeal to the young reader. I would highly recommend this book as an ideal choice for both pre-school and Primary classrooms.

Gwen Maguire, St. John's, Nfld.
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