CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Donia Blumenfeld
Illustrated by Katharine Helmer

Scarborough (Ont.), Flowerfield & Littleman, 1990. 32pp, paper, $10.95
ISBN 0-9693352-2-9. CIP

Pre-school to Grade 2/Ages 2 to 7
Reviewed by Pat Bolger.

Volume 19 Number 1
1991 January

Inspired by the thirteen scenes of Robert Schumann's "Scenes from Childhood," Clenman's poems open doors to that place in the mind where the real experiences of childhood drift into the realm of pure imagination. Katherine Helmer's black-and-white illustrations complement Clenman's unadorned blank verse, and children will especially enjoy a mysterious picture of a sand castle and another of a bogeyman with his raven on his shoul­der and his net of seaweed.

The accompanying tape alternates poems and "Scenes" from Schumann played by Martin Clenman. Clenman's readings are a bravura performance. Although her voice at times verges on harshness, she is able to invest the monosyllable "O" with volumes of meaning.

Parents will find book and tape an excellent introduction to good music for even the youngest child. Public librar­ians doing story hours for pre-schoolers would find the two a useful resource, as would nursery school workers settling their charges down for rest time. Clenman's word pictures and Schumann's music will provide a calming influence for young listeners.

Pat Bolger, Renfrew, Ont.
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