Where Is Gah-Ning?


32 pages
ISBN 1-55037-982-8
DDC jC813'.54





Illustrations by Hélène Desputeaux
Reviewed by Kelly L. Green

Kelly L. Green is editor of the Canadian Book Review Annual’s
Children’s Literature edition.


Gah-Ning wants to take a trip, to Kapuskasing, alone. Her father says
no. She sets off anyway, on her bicycle. Her father brings her back. She
sets off again, on rollerblades. Her father brings her back. She goes to
the library, hijacks 300 helium balloons, and flies to Kapuskasing,
outwitting her father and achieving her objective.

For Munsch fans, this book, with its simple, repetitive plot and
language and its clever young female protagonist, who ultimately wins
the day over her father’s objections, will not disappoint. Other
readers, less enthralled with Munsch’s formulistic style, may object
to the very repetition and simplistic language that Munsch lovers find
so charming. Belonging to the latter group, this reviewer also finds
Gah-Ning’s single-minded pursuit of her personal goal rather more
selfish and annoying than endearing. While some will no doubt find the
book hilariously funny, Gah-Ning’s flouting of her father’s cautions
and her abandonment of her younger sibling at the library, even in a
nonsense book like this one, are ultimately disturbing. Not a
first-choice purchase.


Munsch, Robert., “Where Is Gah-Ning?,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 17, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/31589.