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Multicultural Literature
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
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Yangsook Choi: Book Analysis
The Thief Lord
This Same Sky
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
The Eleventh Hour: Curious Mystery
Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry
M.C. Higgins, the Great
Goin' Someplace Special
Locomotion
Too Many Tamales
Pablo Remembers
My Name is Maria Isabel
Pablo's Tree
The Great Ball Game
Buffalo Woman
Morning Girl
The Mud Pony: A Traditional Skidi Pawnee Tale
Jingle Dancer
The Name Jar
Tree of Cranes
Good Luck Gold: And Other Poems
The Magic Paintbrush
Habibi
Ella Enchanted
Silent Lotus
Real Heroes

Fox, Mem.  1985.  Wilfrid Gordon Mcdonald Partridge.  Illustrated by
     Julie Vivas.  New York: Kane/Miller Book Publishers.  ISBN:
     0916291049.

 

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge is a young boy who lives next door to an old people's home.  Inquisitive and friendly, he knows and likes everyone residing there and the feeling seems mutual.  Wilfrid finds out that his favorite person, Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper, has lost her memory and he is determined to find out what a memory is.  He receives a different response from each resident.  A memory is, "something sad", "something warm", "something that makes you laugh", and so Wilfrid creates his own basket of memories to share with Miss Nancy.  His memories spark her memories of a beach, her brother that never came home from the war, and many more.

          The illustrations in this picture book reach out and grab the reader right from the start.  Drawn in bold, pastel, watercolors, each character in the book comes alive with their individual personalities and eccentricities.  Wilfrid himself almost bounds across the page with energy and exuberance.  The reader is introduced to Mr. Hosking, who likes to tell scary stories, Mrs. Jordan, playing the piano, and Mr. Drysdale, with a voice like a giant. (Fox 1985).

          Originally published in Australia, there are few clues to setting with the exception that Mr. Tippet, a resident at the old folks home, is partial to 'cricket', a sport which is not played predominantly in the USA.  The reader sees chickens in the yard and a clothesline indicating Wilfid lives outside city limits. The illustrations surround the reader with the slower pace of the old folks. 

An old people's home is not unique to Australia but this book does reflect a collective group, the aged,  not often represented in stories.  This stories' endearing quality, "is its non-patronizing focus on old people" (Farr, Amazon.com).

          There is a rhythmic language that keeps the pacing of the story.  The cover art depicts a sweet old lady with an energetic boy peeping out from behind her chair inviting the reader to find out what is going to happen next.  The art and the writing work hand in hand to weave a sentimental story reminding us that young and old have the capacity to benefit from one another.

Farr, Richard.  Amazon.com.  Available from http://www.amazon.com.  Accessed
     12 June 04.