The Tales of Tiptoes Lightly
Anne Hutchings, a former elementary-school teacher-librarian with the
Durham Board of Education, is an educational consultant.
This collection of short stories features a fairy named Tiptoes, Jeremy
Mouse, and two gnomes, Pine Cone and Pepper Pot. The book is divided
into three sections: The Bee Who Lost His Buzz, Pumpkin Crow, and Lucy
Goose and the Half-Egg. Though each section contains several chapters,
the chapters tend to be episodic and have limited connection to one
another. Additional characters and locales are interjected randomly.
This reader noted several inconsistencies and questionable word usages.
For example, at the beginning of the book we are told that Tiptoes’s
boat is “made of an acorn cap,” yet later on in the story it is
described as a “coconut” boat. The author refers to Lucy Goose’s
offspring as “gooselings” instead of goslings and substitutes
“loose” for “lose.” The tales seem very childlike and lack plot.
The author explains that the stories contained in the volume were
conceived specifically for his Kindergarten and Grade 1 classes, and
initially were presented orally using words and music, then later
written down. While they may have been highly successful used for their
original purpose, they will have limited appeal for general audiences.