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  Bookends: Dan Davidson

Munschworks 4 The Fourth Robert Munsch Treasury

Reviewed: October 22, 2002
By: Robert Munsch and Saoussan Askar
Publisher: Annick Press
136 Pages, $24.95

The lead story in the fourth Robert Munsch treasury is 50 Below Zero, Munsch’s Yukon story, conceived during a visit here in the early 1980s and brought to book form in 1986. It concerns a cold night in Watson Lake, even though it doesn’t actually say that. Michael Martchenko’s trademark humour was just right for this tale, as it was for most of them.

The oldest story in the book dates from a couple of years before that. It is Millicent and the Wind, in which a young girl gets a surprise present on her lonely mountain top. Suzanne Duranceau brought a realistically mystic quality to the illustrations.

The Boy in the Drawer is a nice little fantasy about getting rid of bad attitudes. Moira’s Birthday is a tale about all the things that can go wrong at such an event. Martchenko was on top of both of these.

From Far Away was one of Munsch’s ventures with a new co-author. It was based on the letters of Suzanne Duranceau, a refugee from war-torn Beirut who finds a new home in Canada. There are moments of humour, but it’s more serious than most of Munsch’s books. Martchenko surprises us all on this one, turning in a fine bit of serious artwork.

This is a fine collection of stories for young readers.

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