Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 21, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Thursday, February LETHBRIDQE A collection of brief book reviews "Anlmali that Frighten People Fact Versus Myth" by Dorothy E. Shuttlesworth (Clarke, Irwin and Co. Ltd., 119 An easy to read book for animal lovers and even for those who are frightened of some animals. If you are of the class that are frightened of, let's say snakes, or bats or some kinds of cats, Dorothy Shuttlesworth has done her best to dispel all old myths with her well-researched fact. This is definitely a learning book as well as an entertaining one for children or adults alike. SYLVIA JOEVENAZZO Prismatics, Exploring a New World: Paris by David Douglas Duncan, (Collins, 53 pages, David Douglas Duncan's Prismatics is a Picassoistic photo-tour of Paris and her people. The shots were taken using a system of prisms in the lens of Duncan's camera. (Duncan includes an explanation and diagrams of how his prisms The resulting jumbled and colorful images of Paris's best-known spots work very well for some of the individual the over-all effect of the collection however has a confusing effect on both the viewers eyes and his stomach. JUDI WALKER "April's There" by Robert Simpson (Fitzhenry Whiteside Limited, 215 pages, April's There, is a story of a teen-age romance that blossomed in London during the last war. Zees and April developed their courtship against a background of black market operators, spivs, air raids, and the fascinating an- tics of big city prostitutes. Robert Simpson was born and raised in London. His background has helped him to write an excellent first novel that shows his skill as a writer and his intimate knowledge of an exciting part of London's history. TERRY MORRIS "The Gypsy by Za- haria Stancu, (Longman Canada Ltd., 282 A book such as The Gypsy Tribe leaves the reader depressed and morose, but perhaps more certain of the continuity of life's processes birth and death. Gypsy tribes in Romania were made very aware of the Second World War when they were rounded up and sent to die on the barren steppes. Stancu shows how Hym Basha's tribe, so used to a roaming freedom, to living only for their small circle, was thus drawn into the larger conflict. Life before the war was hard for the gypsies, although it was appreciated as only a chosen life can be. But the hardships imposed on them during the exile broke down their discipline and love for each other, until they too were at war with each other. This intriguing book is Romania's candidate for the 1974 Nobel Prize for literature. JOANNE GROVER "According to Hakluyt" by Delbert Young (Clarke Irwin, 197 pages, From 'beneath the weather deck on overcrowded, dark, damp and evil-smelling sailing ships comes a collection of sea tales. Richard Hakluyt was a clergyman in Elizabethan England with a passion for the sea. He devoted considerable time in pursuit of sailers and sea captains with tales to tell. Hakluyt's writings provide a glimpse of great explorers like Martin Frobisher, Thomas Cavendish, Francis Drake and John Davis as seen by the men accompanying them between decks. Delbert Young, an Edmonton freelance writer, has carefully edited passages from Hakluyt's original text. Mr. Young notes in a foreward how several writers including William Shakespeare and Daniel Dafoe built from Hakluyt's material. This collection of sea yarns is easy to read. I would recommend it to anyone interested in life under sail. I've been reading some of the yarns at meetings of the 8th Lethbridge Sea Scouts lately. A short glossary is included, providing capsule definitions of sailing ship terminology used throughout the book. NOEL BUCHANAN "Silver Sage" by the Bow Island Lion's Club, (Lethbridge Herald, lit pages, A must for all who have family or friendship ties with the people and history of Bow Island. Family by family the life of those who lived and toiled in Bow Island and district is highlighted in photo and story by people who once did or still do call that area home. A map of the farming district identifies who lived where and a sketch and photos of the town of Bow bland will bring back memories of its early years for many former residents and visitors. The business community, politicial leaders, police and fire departments along with historic highlights such as the coming of the railway and the discovery of gas are all recalled in a year by year documentation by those people who can still remember the early life in Bow Island. And their recollection of some of the humorous anecdotes involving their families even makes Silver Sage interesting perusing for readers who have never visited Bow Island. JIM GRANT "Respond" Volume 3, A Resource Book for Youth Ministry, edited by Mason L. Brown (Judson Press, distributed by G. R. Welch Company, 140 Another book of program guides to help adult counsellors who are working with young people in church settings. There are many resources suggested for dealing with almost any subject a teen-ager might wish to consider occultism, vocations, sexuality, ecology, literature and faith, international mission, the Holy spirit and all are related to the meaning of the Christian gospel. Creative counsellors and innovative and responsive young people might find some useful ideas in this book. ELSPETH WALKER "Vancouver Island" by S. W. Jackson. (Griffin House, 212 pages, This dry, factual book will give the reader all the facts and figures concerning Vancouver Island, but conveys little of the real beauty of this island. It would be an excellent book for the student doing research but it is certainly not suited for the reader in search of an hour or two of enjoyment. GARRY ALLISON "The Collector's Guide to Depression Glass" by Marian Klamkin, (Prentice-Ball of Canada, Ltd. 225 pages, Between 1920 and 1940, almost every home in Canada had at least one piece of depression glass. This tinted glass, which sold for a few cents or was given away as premiums, is now eagerly sought by collectors. Marian Klamkin gives a detailed description of the shapes and sizes produced from the 1920s through the 1930s of all the pieces made by the major depression glass factories. She explains the making and coloring of the glass. The unit on kitchenware traces the development of the first cooking glassware to the present day fridge-to-stove dishes. The last half of the book deals with post-prohibition glassware, repairing, forming depression glassware clubs, and children's glass. Note: Glass toy dishes made prior to the Second World War are scarce and rapidly increasing in value. With the numerous black and white photos plus eight color pages in this excellent book identification of the pieces is easy. ELSIE MORRIS "Pieces for the Old Earth by Sean Virgo (The Sono Nis Press, 82 The poems in this book are generally excellent, fusing reality, magic and abstractions into definite works of art. The worst poem, Haggard, in which poor taste .is abetted by clumsy phrasing, is placed near the beginning of the book. After that, except for overusing the word hag, the rest of Virgo's poems are remarkable for their ability to set up their own resonances in the reader's mind. In the best of the poems, a few of which are Son of the Morning, Surveyor, the title poem, Baltic, Luck, Nightwood, and Elemental, the poet is relentless; he offers no wayward sympathy to his subject matter or even to himself. Yet he is not pessimistic in the strength of his relentlessness there is an affirmation, as at the end of Surveyor when an idealist is forced to swear "That trees do bleed, That blood is us." Virgo experiments with regular rhyme and metre in a few of these poems, with variable results. Yesterday fails badly in its last two stanzas. Fox Fire Dirge on the other hand, is masterful; no doubt it will become one of the more frequently anthologized of Virgo's works. JOHN BELL "Daily Life in People's China" by Arthur W. Calston with Jean S. Savage (Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 255 pages, distributed by Fitzhenry and Daily life in People's China is exactly-as the title suggests Yale professor Arthur Calston, his wife, and daughter not only saw but ex- perienced, first hand, the new China. They requested a break from the well-trained routes, western-style hotels and food, accorded to most western visitors and were allowed to spend several weeks at the Marco Polo Bridge Peoples Commune, near Peking. Eating, sleeping, and working with the peasants at a variety of jobs they found communal life to be very satisfying. The Calston family also made many visits to schools, nurseries, hospitals, factories and universities. Throughput the book we see interesting comparisons of the Chinese lifestyle and our own, a most interesting difference being in the field of education. The book is liberally il- lustrated with more than 125 photographs, that add a great deal to this informal view of People's China as it really is. It shows us the outlook of the new Chinese. Although the Chinese realize that .their system still has many im- perfections they express the belief that through a co- operate effort these will be overcome. For anyone who wants to know more about the daily life of 800 million people and realize a greater under- standing of China and the Chinese in general, the book is a must. BILL GROENEN "Canadian Native Art" by Nancy-Lou Patterson. (Collier McMillan Canada Ltd., 180 pages, A comprehensive survey of Canadian Native art, this book encompasses all art forms from beadwork, pottery, skins, rock carvings, totem poles and masks to today's conventionalized Native art. Of interest to readers of this area is a short section on renowned Indian artist Gerald Tailfeathers. GARRY ALLISON rhe Midnight Dancers" by Anne Maybury (Random House of Canada Ltd. 280 The Midnight Dancers is a fast-moving story of intrigue and mystery set in an exotic, old Arabian city in North Africa. The intricate plot, captivating characterizations, and strangely fascinating setting engross the reader throughout the book and excitement is maintained until the final scene. Anne Maybury's writing is so descriptive that one can easily "lose" oneself in the moods and scenes she so skillfully creates. The story involves the complexities and subtleties of an unresolved fatal accident, unexplainable coincidences, domestic misunderstandings, disturbing threats, and suspicious "accidents." Tensions run high among the characters and suspense mounts to a dramatic climax The book's title lends a further note of continuity and intrigue to the story's setting since it refers to "dancer" moths which are unique to the African city and are usually seen at midnight. If the reader hungers for more when he reaches the end of the book, he can find comfort in the fact that the author has written seven previous books, which, if this book is any indication, promise to be fascinating and worthwhile reading. LLOYD YAMAGISffl Treat your mends "Bicycle Touring in Europe" by Karen and Gary Hawkins (Randon House of Canada Limited, paper, 184 This helpful guide to bicycl- ing in Europe entices the reader to make a similar trip. Using stories of their ex- periences, authors Karen and Gary Hawkins offer advice on how to see Europe on a bicy- cle places to go, where to stay, where to eat, how much money and energy you'll need. They show the reader how to travel as they did, camping along the way. or how to go in more luxurious style stay- ing in hotels and taking trains over difficult spots. They dis- cuss such practical matters as how to select and buy a bicycle, how to dress for the trip and easy-to-prepare meals while on the road. Us- ing illustrations, they advise the reader on the best ways to pack a bicycle and the easiest ways to pedal and ride in com- fort whiie travelling long dis- tances. They offer nine possible tours, with maps, through some of Europe's most enchanting riding country Burgundy and Alsace in France, southern England, Germany and Denmark. It is an introduction to a new way of seeing Europe, guarantee- ing enjoyment, good health and personal contact with the continent's most fascinating, yet elusive commodity its people. Gary Hawks, a speech com- munication teacher at San Francisco State University and his wife, Karen, a nursery school teacher wrote the book following a nine-month bicy- cle tour of Europe and a five- month stay on the island of Kalymnos in Greece CHRIS STEWART Hidden meanings A man builds a fence of deceit and suddenly finds himself entangled instead of protected. Photo and text by David Bly Herald reporter The pit and the pendulum By Louis Burke, local writer The above title belongs to a very old short story written by Edgar Allen Poe. It describes a torture session. In some ways our educational system, especially at the primary level, might be compared to the pit where children by the millions wriggle in captivity. The huge pendulum swings overhead absolutely dripping with vitriolic notions in education. With regularity, these acid ideas drop off into the swarming pit to scar the millions trapped therein. Poor children, they twist and convolute as one foamy philosophical idea after another drops in their midst. The frothy substance of today's educational principles is enough to drive one to tears. Our managers in education are so dated it is quite pathetic. The time has come to junk more than half a dozen nonsensical educational practices which exist in our schools and which continue to create mounting casualties the play way, the open area, the non-graded classes, the continuous progress system, the lack of spelling, the neglect of language skills, the lack of history, and some more wackey mish- mash. All that adds up to educational tripe ought to be junked immediately. Our leaders never look over their shoulders. None of them appears able to see that the past is rapidly overtaking the present and catching up with the future. In the neighboring country, school districts are slamming up walls within open areas by the thousand. A Manitoba study scoffs at the open area concept. In Lethbridge, dozens of teachers condemn open area and did so from the very beginning. This educational notion is an utter failure for most teachers and nearly all children. Junk it immediately. Let the pendulum swing over the pit1 A high school student and his lawyer, in San Francisco, sued the school board for one million dollars because after twelve years of education he graduated unable to read and write. They lost the case, but there are six other such cases pending in the legal pipeline. Not every child needs to learn to read, spell and write. One in a thousand the independently wealthy, the unusually brilliant but the other 999 do need reading, spelling and writing. There are literally doz- ens of students in our schools today who after 10 and 12 years of education are unable to cope with these essentials in their lives. Shades of San Francisco! New York City has dumped the non-graded, continuous progress salami. Children must pass grades and standards reasonably set for them. Why do our leaders live in "never-never" land -while the pendulum continues to swing over the pit? Salamander for hire By Hazel Ross, local writer It is garden-thinking time again. My garden usually yields many tasty fruits and vegetables but only after many hours of attention to weeds and my constant vigil for plant-destroying insects, worms and that ugliest of all pests, the garden slug. The chemical insecticides are a quick way of irradicating these harmful pests and so when I saw a new creature in the garden last fall my first reaction was to run for the aerosol can. But some instinct told me to look again under that moist plastic bag that I had carelessly left in the garden. It looked to me like a salamander, but how in the world would an amphibian come to be in my hot dry garden? Sure enough the Natural History of Alberta states that in ancient geologic time amphibians flourished in Southern Alberta but only three species exist today the toad, the frog and the tiger salamander. Here was a creature I bad to learn to live with rather than destroy if I didn't want extinction of another species. The salamander is scaleless, lizardlike and about four inches long. It has a soft moist skin and is rather attractive in color with its tiger- like stripes which gives it its name. It had probably come to our yard now that we had a small rock garden where it could live in the moist cool soil under the rocks. The amphibian feeds on insects, worms and that alt-elusive pest the slug, so here was the answer to my yearly garden problem. Now ways had to be figured out bow to keep the creature in my garden and encourage it to multiply. But why stop with preserving the salamander when the praying mantis, the ladybug, certain wasps and lacewings that also inhabit my garden from time to time would probably do an equally good job of eating harmful insects if I would just throw out tiie various insecticides. And who knows, the benefits may be far reaching. Upon telling my neighbor gardener of my new-found slug garburator she suggested I might rent it out Explanation missing By Dong Walker Throughout the nearly five years that we have lived in our bouse the outside door at our front entrance has needed attention. It didn't fit properly and often blew open. Our son-in-law Chris Bowrey couldn't stand it any longer so recently he went out and bought a new door. The thing that astounded me in this episode was that Chris did an the necessary screwing on the binges, planing off the wood where the door didn't fit, etc. on the rug in the living room. I haven't figured out why Elspeth let him get away with making a mess like that whether it's because he is her favorite (only) son-in-law or simply seeing a fixer at work not her into a state of shock.