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ON THE BOOKSHELF – Kimmy and Mike

This is a rhyming picture book from Newfoundland and Labrador that encompasses Newfoundland vocabulary, bruddy, cleaves, connors, sculpin, etcetera. This tall tale takes Kimmy and Mike from Belloram to the Caribbean Shore.

Kimmy and Mike are asked by their mother to take their punt and fish for “something for the pot!” They set out to fulfill their mother’s wishes, having no luck at home they continue their journey to places such as Nain or Ireland’s Eye, Australia, and the Panama Canal.

They pass through two hurricanes, Alfie and Blanche, and haul up a squid with 60-foot arms and a 30-foot head. The recitation must be read aloud with voice to capture the heart of the tale.

Newfoundland villages were isolated and dotted the coastlines to fashion out a living for their families. Telling stories was one avenue of entertainment for the families. The use of exaggeration is not lost on the reader amidst a journey in a 16-foot punt with a double-reefed sail.

The illustrations appear simple but this is deceptive. They capture the sculpin, the blowfish and the conner truly. The mother is a dominant figure throughout the tall tale without being present or overwhelming.

This is a delightfully tall tale that embraces and inspires imagination, highlighting the importance of a mother’s role in the Newfoundland and Labrador household.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Valerie Parsons is an elementary school teacher, children’s book author and the owner of Butterfly Book Boutique.

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