Sarah's Stars

Ian Wallace. Mavis and Merna
Groundwood  $16.95  ISBN 0-88899-647-0  28 pg.
Reviewed by Rebecca, Age 13

Mavis loved the store with its tinkling bell above the front door. She loved the smell of wicker and wool, rubber and oil, perfume and leather all mixed up together. She even loved just standing in the aisles imagining owning such wonderful things.

Mavis and Merna is a touching and deep picture book about how much a strong friendship can pull you through, at even the saddest and worst of times. From day one, Merna and Joe Gully owned the most successful store in Fortuneís Grove. That is until the day Joe Gully died. In this charming story you will learn how much a true friendship will weave together and heal a heart.

This story is wonderfully put together with playful and delicate illustrations throughout, matching the character of the store, the setting and the overall feeling. The cover art is very true to Merna and Mavisís friendship, tender and sincere. The text in this book isnít quite as exciting as the pictures, and is rather small for a picture book, but there is a good amount of text on each page. Overall, I think this book has a very inviting appeal to it and the illustrations are just right for the story.

Author and illustrator, Ian Wallace, lives and writes in Toronto and is considered to be one of Canadaís very best. He has won many reputable awards for his books, and was also the Canadian nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. His other books include The Man Who Walked the Earth, The True Story of Trapper Jackís Left Big Toe, Boy of the Deeps, The Name of the Tree, Chin Chiang and the Dragonís Dance and Duncanís Way. Mavis and Merna is a hardcover picture book for kids, but a heart-warming read for all!

Overall I think Mavis and Merna was a very worthwhile read, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a light, feel-good read. It is very touching and you feel like time has been well spent reading Mavis and Merna. Overall, I think this was a wonderful book worth much more than my appreciation alone.

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