CM Archive
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Robert McConnell
Illustrated by Christine Lott

Toronto, Napoleon Publishing, 1990. 48pp, cloth, $19.95
ISBN 0-929141-02-4. CIP

Grades 3 to 6/Ages 8 to 11
Reviewed by Alison Mews.

Volume 19 Number 2
1991 March

The Strawberry Jam is a story of evil thwarted and is told in rhyming verse. It is set on the Strawberry Planet and the title refers to the pickle the Strawberry Queen finds herself in when the nasty Prince Praise attempts to take over her land and subjects. The title pun is indicative of the double meaning of many of the characters' names (e.g. Praise, Shortcake, Sillabub, Nosher) and the method of foiling the take-over with strawberries and whipped cream. The rhyming verse reads well aloud but is occasionally overburdened with words to establish the rhyme. For example:

He'd plotted and planned with
His twisted, gnome-like friend,
On ways and means and strategies
To reach his evil end.

The full-colour illustrations, reminis­cent of comicbook pictures, will cer­tainly increase the child appeal of this story in extended verse. Altogether, a humorous romp with a moral ending. It may even inspire children to try their own hand at verse!

Alison Mews, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Nfld.
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