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Phoebe Gilman.
Richmond Hill, ON: North Winds Press, 1992.
28pp., galley, $15.95.
ISBN 0-590-73074-6. Distributed by Scholastic Canada. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Clothing and dress-Fiction.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7

Reviewed by Norma Charles.

Volume 20 Number 4
1992 September

Using pleasing rhythmic and repetitive language, the author retells this charming folk-tale of a favourite star-speckled blue blanket. When the blanket becomes worn and tattered, Joseph takes it to his grandfather, who, with a few quick passes of his needle, makes him a handsome jacket. When the jacket becomes worn, Grandfather makes a vest, then a Sabbath tie, and so on, until the ragged handkerchief becomes a beautiful button. But when the button is lost, what can Joseph do? Can he make something from nothing? Of course he can. He can make a wonderful story!

An observant reader will notice that as Joseph's blanket becomes progressively smaller and his grandfather makes it into a jacket, a vest, and so on, a lively family of mice living in the bottom floor of the multi-family dwelling become more and more well clothed with the beautiful blue star-speckled fabric.

In this, her seventh book, the author/illustrator has set this loving portrait of shtetl (town) life in Eastern Europe of the nineteenth century. Using warm wood tones of brown and cream accented with the deep blue of the blanket, she has created a world of family love and warmth that will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Norma Charles is a teacher - librarian at Henderson Annex Elementary School in Vancouver, BC.
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