Harold Greenhouse to the Rescue
Marjorie E. Coutts was a writer living in Bowen Island, B.C.
This is a typical TAB publication, designed to sell in the classroom to ten-year-old boys; as such, it reflects Mike Wilkins’ period of employment in Scholastic-Tab’s editorial department. He has written the type of book that will sell to one child then be passed around the circle of the neighbourhood kids.
It is an adventure story about clever kids saying their parents who have been captured and carried off to Greenland by dumb kidnappers. Harold, the reluctant hero, claims he doesn’t want exciting adventures that disturb the proper quietness of family life. He is pictured as a studious plant experimenter, an exaggerated opposite to the “normal, active, sports-loving boy.” The plot, the incidents, and the characters are components of an exaggerated slapstick comedy. No wonder the characters are static; the pace doesn’t allow them a chance of development. The book is entertaining, fantastic, and completely forgettable.
Ray Condy’s cartoon illustrations complement and add to the fun.