Can't Stop Reading

Lucky for me I get a hefty discount at work, because I just can't seem to stop myself!

Monday, June 12, 2006

New book arrivals are slowing down to a trickle, now that the spring season is ending. Fortunately, a trickle still means a few are getting through. Part of that trickle is The Show-and-Tell Lion.

This is the story of what happens when a lie gets out of control. One day, for show and tell, Matthew wishes he had something exciting to show his class. Sadly, Matthew has nothing exciting to talk about (which I totally sympathize with, by the way). So he makes up a pet lion, Larry, to talk about. Everyone in class believes him, and Matthew regales his classmates with stories about Larry every day. Until one of the kids suggests a field trip to Matthew's house to visit Larry. What a quandary. Seeing no way out of it, Matthew tells his mum what he's done. She, sensibly, tells him that he's just going to have to bite the bullet and tell the truth. How embarrassing, thinks Matthew! But see, Matthew is a creative kid, and he comes up with a plan. He writes and illustrates a cool-looking book, with all the adventures of Larry the lion. The next day he brings it to class and shows all his friends. The response is not great: "You lied?" But Matthew explains that Larry is real in his head, and now in this book, as well. His classmates decide that Larry is a pretty good story, and from then on, Matthew writes an adventure for Larry every week to read to the class during show and tell.

My favourite thing about this book is Lynne Avril Cravath's illustrations. They're childlike, but still quite sophisticated, and her take on Matthew's own illustrations within the book, are hilarious. Author Barbara Abercrombie's text, though far from bad, is not really in the same league.

The Show-and-Tell Lion written by Barbara Abercrombie illustrated by Lynne Avril Cravath
ISBN 0689864086
32 pages


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