August 20, 2017

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Me and You and the Red Canoe by Jean E. Pendziwol | SLJ Review

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redstarPENDZIWOL, Jean E. Me and You and the Red Canoe. illus. by Phil. 32p. Groundwood. Aug. 2017. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781554988471.

PreS-Gr 2 –Two siblings, a lush forest, a red canoe, and a love of adventure and exploration. These are the elements that Pendziwol weaves into this stunning book celebrating friendship across the backdrop of the Canadian landscape. Narrated by one of the boys, the story is structured into paragraphs arranged like poetry, with frequent use of rhymes and repetition that gives it an intriguing musical cadence. The text alternates between the pronouns “I,” “you,” and “we.” This rhythm animates the text effectively. The artistic nature of the text is rivaled by the stunning illustrations on wooden panels. Fine acrylic details bring the forest and its animals to life. The artwork is so striking that it will attract even very young children who may not engage with the text. VERDICT A true gem that invites contemplation and reflection in children, who are often too busy to notice the beauty of everyday life. Best shared one-on-one.–Katherine Hickey, Metropolitan Library System, Oklahoma City

This review was published in the School Library Journal June 2017 issue.

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