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The Red Scarf.

The Red Scarf written and illustrated by Anne Villeneuve Tundra Books, 2010 978-0-88776-989-4 (hc) $19.99 for Kindergarten to Grade 2

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Picture Book--Circus

Meet Turpin, surely one of the more determined taxi drivers in the world. One day he transports a mysterious man to his destination. Alas, Turpin discovers that the man has left his red scarf behind. He calls out to him, but the cloaked man disappears inside a tent. In his quest to bring man and scarf back together, our intrepid driver unknowingly enters the behind-the-scenes circus world where he encounters many memorable characters and finds himself in the centre ring of the circus. The red scarf is intercepted by mischievous circus monkeys and Turpin is forced to walk the tightrope in order to retrieve it. Suddenly he loses his balance and falls directly into a trunk which belongs to the mysterious passenger... a magician! Wild applause ensues, and the lovable Turpin is given the red scarf as a souvenir of his experience. He happily drives off in his taxi, only to accidentally leave his own hat behind.

This fantastical story begins with these words: "'Another gray day,' says Turpin, the taxi driver." This is the entire text, making this book, in its experiences, universal. What a marvelous adventure is woven from the colourful, uninhibited oil pastel illustrations! Anne Villeneuve's exuberant artwork takes the reader on an extraordinary journey. Her cartoon-like characters express such a variety of emotions that a text is never required. Readers will easily be able to follow the action--and there is plenty of it!

This story was first published in French as L'echarpe rouge and was awarded the 2000 Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Illustration (French).

Senta Ross is an elementary teacher and former teacher-librarian in Kitchener, Ontario.

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Title Annotation:We Recommend
Author:Ross, Senta
Publication:Canadian Children's Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jan 1, 2010
Words:297
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