Books by W.D. Valgardson

GARBAGE CREEK by W.D. Valgardson
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

Contemporary children struggle with ethical dilemmas in these sensitive and involving short stories, with black-and-white chapter illustrations to draw readers in. In ``The Sand Artist,'' Rainbow likes her life with her hippie mother in a little hut near the beach, and isn't sure she wants to move with her back to the city. Sam, a character who appears in several stories, is a computer nerd whose cyber-skills help him ``get a life'' in the real world. In ``Babysitting Kwon Lin,'' Richard learns to overcome language differences when he is abruptly drafted into taking care of his landlord's niece, who speaks only Chinese. In the title story, Jim and Angie escape their family problems by hanging out at a nearby creek that's polluted; when they discover that it used to be a spawning bed for salmon, they decide to clean up the creek in order to bring back the fish. In fact, Valgardson (Winter Rescue, 1995, etc.) repeatedly affirms youngsters' affinity for the natural world: In several of the stories the young protagonists attempt to restore to nature what adults have damaged. Ultimately, it's the author's recognition of how children and teenagers adapt to new situations and how they grapple with moral issues that make these tales ring true. (Short stories. 8-12) Read full book review >
WINTER RESCUE by W.D. Valgardson
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

Thor's grandfather takes him ice fishing on Lake Winnipeg. Their outing is framed by dramatic detailsThor's reluctance to go (he prefers watching TV) and the rescue of a drowning man at the endbut the premise doesn't stick. Instead, the book's centerpiece is a meticulously described and illustrated account of fishing, in which the grandfather shows Thor how to walk on the ice, set the nets, and pull in fish, and explains the function of the specialized tools used in the process. In other words, Valgardson's first book has a dry charm, and despite the trappings of the story, this book shines in its description of mechanical processes. Newcomer Zhang's pencil illustrationscolorful, but brittlesuit the book exactly. (Picture book. 7-9) Read full book review >