The Magic Clothesline3 star



Clothesline Magic Binds Family

By Andree Poulin, Illustrated by Marion Arbona

Magination Press,  $9.95, 32 pages

Robin misses his Dad. Dad is away on business and will not even be home for his birthday. But then mysterious envelopes filled with messages and gifts begin appearing on the clothesline each day and Robin soon becomes convinced that the clothesline is magic and that the envelopes are from his Dad. In the end, it is the power of brotherly love that creates the magic for the clothesline, and close family bonds that make Robin feel better about his Dad’s time away from home.

“As Robin turns off his night-light, he feels the sadness sweep over him again. It’s the first time he has had to fall asleep without a kiss from daddy. His pillow is soon wet with tears. He slowly eats the licorice N.
“Goodnight Daddy,” whispers Robin.
Robin falls asleep with the smell of cherry on his nose.”

The Magic Clothesline, published by The American Psychological Association as a “self-help book for kids… and the adults in their lives,” is a sweet, entertaining story, brightly illustrated with warmth and vibrancy; however, its primary emphasis seems more focused on the idealized, somewhat forced sibling relationship between Robin and his brother Thomas than it is in helping Robin (and readers like him) deal with brief separation from a parent. Nevertheless, while the book may fall short of providing younger readers with any practical takeaway beyond mild reassurance, the accompanying prefatory note to parents offers a wealth of expert advice and practical strategies; some may find it to be the most valuable page in the book.

Reviewed by Renée Butcher
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