Category Archives: Books

Golden Boy- A Novel That Reflects Reality in Tanzania

A novel I read during our time in Tanzania was Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan.

It is the story of a young albino man named Habo. Habo’s poor eyesight, something associated with being albino, means he hasn’t learned to read or write. His light eyes, yellow hair and white skin make him the target of his brothers’ cruelty, cause his father to abandon the family, and place his mother and sister in danger because poachers in Tanzania receive top dollar for the body parts of albino people that are thought to bring good luck. One of these poachers is after Habo.

Although I didn’t know it when I chose the book its story begins in a village near Arusha, a city we visited that is not far from where we were based during our time in Tanzania.

Eventually, Habo’s family is forced to leave Arusha and travels across the Serengeti (where we travelled on our safari) to stay with relatives in the city of Mwanza. When the threat from poachers becomes even more imminent there Habo decides to begin a journey all on his own to the city of Dar Salaam where things are not as dire for albino people.

His trip is dangerous and difficult but once there he is befriended by an elderly blind wood carver named Kweli and his life takes a gradual turn for the better.

Tara Sullivan – author of Golden Boy

Golden Boy was published in 2013 when the danger to albino people was at an all-time high in Tanzania. Since then an international outcry has resulted in new laws, stricter policing and a promise of more protection for albino children. However those in outlying villages remain in danger as this article points out.

When we visited the Step by Step Learning Centre in Arusha, the city where the novel character Habo initially lived, we met a young adult albino woman who had been in a horrible home situation where she was traumatized and abused before being adopted and taken in by a kind woman in Arusha who enrolled her at the school.

Her family had told her she was mentally challenged and would never learn to read or write but after being given time to heal from her trauma it turned out she was very intelligent and like Habo does in the book eventually became literate. She has now graduated from the Learning Centre and will be hired as a worker there.

I won’t use her name but it was lovely to see her smiling and looking so happy. She was confident enough to let me take her photo, something Dr Margaret Kenyi, the centre director approved of as well, since she thinks the story of albino children in Tanzania is one that needs to reach as wide an international audience as possible.

I always like to read a book set in a country I am travelling to. I had no idea when I chose Golden Boy just how appropriate and meaningful it would be.

Other posts……..

Freedom’s Child

Two Boys, Two Books, Two Sad Stories

Meeting the Street Children of Delhi

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Filed under Africa, Books, Health

Crow Stone Launches Tonight

“We stumble along past the polluted streams, as pussy willows lose their kitten plush, morph into pollen-dusty worms, then leaf into green leaves. Spring insists on life in spite of burned-out houses, charred trees, blackened fields.”

That’s just an example of the vivid meaningful descriptions you will find in Gabriele Goldstone’s new novel Crow Stone. It is the fourth in her series that tells the story of a young woman named Katya determined to survive one tragedy after another beginning in the early 1930s when she is forced to move from Ukraine to Siberia and then to East Prussia, and in 1945……. after Germany is defeated in World War II, back to work in a Soviet labour camp.

One by one Katya loses her family- her parents, her siblings, her aunts and uncles and her cousins until she is left all alone to fight the battle for survival.

Crowstone Gabriele’s latest novel about Katya has already garnered some excellent reviews – Kirkus called it …..

“Difficult, harsh, and worthy of attention” praising Gabriele for the way she paints the horrors of war vividly and comprehensively.

The excerpt below gives you an idea of what the Kirkus reviewer is talking about. It is part of the description of Katya’s seemingly endless walk to the labour camp after she and a large group of women have been captured by the Soviets.

“At night it’s still cold. We huddle like cows, on the thawing ground, drinking water from puddles like orphaned dogs. Rivers, contaminated with death, littered with empty prams, broken furniture and bloated bodies, continue to flow. Death contaminates us all.”

The amount of meticulous research Gabriele has done to write her series is so impressive as the supplemental reading references at the end of Crow Stone attest. She has also made trips to many of the locations in her novels to look for documentation and background material and to see the places she is writing about for herself.

Katya’s story is all the more moving and meaningful because it was inspired by memories Gabriele’s mother shared sparingly with her daughter throughout her life.

At the end of Crow Stone Gabriele lists the facts from her mother’s life she incorporated into the book and I found it so interesting to go back and find the bits and pieces of her mother’s story in the places they were referenced.

Another fascinating detail is that the cover of Crow Stone features the 1947 prisoner-of-war release papers for Gabriele’s mother.

I particularly appreciated the way Crow Stone shows us that it is not always easy to figure out who is your enemy and who you should hate. A young woman named Natasha, a former employee of Katya’s family, puts it well when she describes so many people caught up in the war as…….. those who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Crow Stone is a riveting engaging read, tragic and troubling certainly, but ultimately a tribute to the human spirit of survival.

Gabriele who is a friend of mine, and a member of a writers’ group I have belonged to for almost a decade, launches her book tonight at McNally Robinson Booksellers and I am so sorry that I will be travelling and will have to miss her launch.

I’m inviting you to go in my stead for what is sure to be a wonderful evening and a great opportunity to buy her excellent book and have it signed.

Other posts………..

Hatred Happens Insidiously

Broken Stone

Red Stone

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Utterly Fascinating

It has been a long time since I have been so utterly fascinated with a book! I just finished reading The White Mosque by Sofia Samatar.

I was so engaged by this book because of the fantastical but true story at its heart about a group of hundreds of Russian Mennonites who in the 1880s left their Molotshna colony in Ukraine and travelled to Uzbekistan.

They were led by a man named Claas Epp who had convinced them that Christ would return in 1889 and they needed to be in Uzbekistan to meet him. After many trials and tribulations, which Sofia Samatar describes in graphic detail, Epp and his followers established a village in a place called Ak Metchet- the White Mosque and lived there for some 50 years before they were all arrested by the Bolsheviks and sent into exile.

Sofia Samatar- photo from her website

I was moved by this book because of the way it describes things near and dear to me from my Mennonite heritage. Take for example Sofia Samatar’s description of Mennonite hymn singing.

“The beautiful harmony of Mennonite singing, taken in like breath in childhood so that even young children show a wonderful facility and ease with music…….

Music that most transportable of the arts accompanied the early persecuted Anabaptists, it murmured in their nights as they fled, it carried their stories from place to place, it sheltered their history, it bore them like an ark.”

Ella Maillart- photo from Wikimedia

My curiosity was aroused by this book because it introduced me to so many intriguing real-life characters that I want to learn even more about…….

– the Mennonite photographer Wilhelm Penner who helped birth the art of photography in Uzbekistan

Irene Worth a famous star of stage and screen, who was a descendant of one of the Mennonite families that trekked to Uzbekistan

Ella Maillart a Swiss photographer, travel adventurer and Olympic athlete who found her way to Ak Metchet in the 1930s and took photos of the Mennonite settlement there

-Diary keeper Elizabeth Unruh who was just a teenager at the time of the Claas Epp Trek but who writes about it in evocative powerful language

I was intrigued by this book because besides being a history book it is also a travel diary and personal memoir.

Sofia with her brother Del, a tattoo artist. They created a book Monster Portraits together.

Sofia Samatar is the daughter of Lydia Glick, a Swiss Mennonite from South Dakota whose masters thesis on Beowulf left a life- long impression on her daughter, and Said Sheikh Samatari a prominent Somali writer and scholar, and a professor at Rutgers University who worked for the American news show Nightline with Ted Koppel.

In the book, you learn about what it is like for Sofia to be part of a family with parents from such different places and backgrounds and religious heritages. How do you find a place to fit in? Sofia compares growing up amidst this diversity to being in ‘an electrical storm.’

Sofia Samatar – photo from the Free Social Encyclopedia

Sofia is a fascinating person. She is a professor of Arabic and African literature at James Madison University and the writer of four award-winning fantasy novels. She and her husband Keith Miller, who grew up in Kenya, lived in South Sudan for three years and in Egypt for nine. They are the parents of two children and I laughed out loud when Sofia illustrates their style of parenting with an image of them running after the school bus with their kids’ forgotten lunches.

The White Mosque is also a travel diary because Sofia describes in her beautiful and lyrical way a tour she went on to Uzbekistan in 2016. She was with a group of people some of whom were descendants of the Claas Epp pilgrims, to find the places important to their almost unbelievable trek across harsh and unforgiving terrain and the unique settlement they finally established at Ak-Metchet.

Sofia’s book also made me look at things from my religious heritage in a new way.

After reading her reflections on the Mennonite devotion to the Martyrs Mirror, I wondered why the people of my religious heritage are so enamoured with stories of suffering.

Her reflections on North American Mennonite service workers made it clear that their assignments in other countries perpetuate the false notion of people ‘saving’ those assumed to be less fortunate when really what service work does is provide rich opportunities for personal and professional growth for those who sign up for it.

Her story about Johann Drake who tried to swallow a Bible whole, made me think about why so many of us were taught to swallow the stories of the Bible whole without asking hundreds of questions about their origin and purpose or realizing the current Bible was a book of stories cobbled together over time by men with a political agenda.

I could probably write a dozen posts about different aspects of The White Mosque, and maybe I will, but this will have to do for now.

Huge thanks to Erin Unger who reviewed this book on her blog Mennotoba in October and brought it to my attention.

Other posts……….

Is It Wrong to Die for Your Faith?

Five Wives

A Carpet Conversation About the Universe

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Filed under Books, Religion

Small Things Like These- A Moving Story

Over the Christmas holidays, I read the novella Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan. In keeping with its title, Small Things Like These is a small book only a hundred pages. It was shortlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize and won the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction.

Novel illustration by Daniela Alfieri from the review in the Sunday Times

Set in 1985 it tells the story of a rural Irish man named Bill Furlong who sells wood and coal for a living. While making a delivery at the local convent he begins to suspect something untoward is going on there. What will he do about it?

Bill Furlong seems at first a simple soul devoted to his wife and five daughters and providing for them with honest hard work, but in Claire Keegan’s capable hands he becomes something so much more- a complex, thoughtful man with an interesting past of his own.

Small Things Like These is a beautifully written and stirring story and while it takes place at Christmas would be a perfect read any time of the year.

Illustration by Anna Gusella for the review of Small Things Like These in the New York Times

I knew a little bit about the Magdalene Laundries one of which plays an important role in Small Things Like These because I had seen the movie Philomena starring Judy Dench. But I had no idea of the scope and impact of the laundries on thousands of young Irish women till I did a little research after reading the novel.

The Magdalene Laundries ( named after Mary Magdalene in the Bible) were essentially ten workhouses in different locations in Ireland from which profitable businesses were run to raise money for the Catholic Church.

From 1922 to 1966 as many as 30,000 young Irish women were essentially held prisoner in these laundries and subjected to severe psychological and physical mistreatment. The woman were unwed mothers, the daughters of unwed mothers, and girls who had been sexually abused or had mental or physical health issues.

Many were considered burdens by their families or were sent to the laundries by clergy, police officers, hospitals and psychiatric institutions. Confined for decades while starved of food and education, forced to work in silence from morning to night, they were isolated from society. Punishments for refusal to work included food deprivation, shaving of hair, solitary confinement and beatings. Many of the women as well as their children died.

It was only in the early 1990s when unmarked graves were discovered on a Dublin convent’s land that a public scandal ensued and what had truly happened in these laundries came to light.

Although knowing more about the Magdelene Laundries makes me want to read Small Things Like These again, its story stands on its own without the historical background I have provided in this post.

The book prompts us to think about what things are going on in our communities that we don’t notice or choose not to notice. What is our responsibility as community members to do something about them? It reminds us that while we cannot change the past we can still confront it and deal with it.

Other posts…………..

Silent Prey

The Long Wait and Forgiveness

The Children Are Watching and Listening and Wondering

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Filed under Books, History

Run Towards the Danger

I was thinking a lot about Canadian film director Sarah Polley last weekend.

A few days before I flew to Saskatoon on Friday I watched Sarah Polley being interviewed on the Stephen Colbert show about her new book Run Towards the Danger. She talked about experiencing a concussion in 2015 after a very large fire extinguisher fell on her head.

Sarah Polley on the Stephen Colbert show- image from You Tube

For three and half years Sarah had brain fog, headaches, sensitivity to light, anxiety and could not multi-task. Sarah is an award winning Canadian film director. After her concussion she thought she would never direct a film again.

All the medical experts she consulted told her to avoid stress, spend time resting, dim the lights, essentially retreat from life so her brain could heal. It wasn’t working.

Then she went to see a Dr. Michael Collins in Pittsburgh who gave her completely contrary advice- run towards the danger. Don’t retreat. Go out boldly and confront the very things that scare you, that cause you stress.

Writing the essays in her book was one way for her to do just that- honestly and openly sharing some of the most difficult experiences of her life.

It worked! Sarah recovered and is now being lauded by critics for directing the brand new film Women Talking.

I was thinking a lot about Sarah’s book as I boarded a plane for Saskatoon last weekend. I was headed there to help my aunt celebrate her 100th birthday.

In October when I was in Saskatoon I was in an accident that totalled our car. I was driving and alone in the vehicle when a truck crashed into me. The accident was my fault. I made a hasty turn at an intersection where the truck had the right of way.

The people in the truck were unharmed. I was pretty bruised and shaken up. It took me more than a month to summon the courage to drive again after my accident. In light of that my husband suggested I take taxis or ubers while in Saskatoon last weekend rather than rent a car.

I desperately wanted to follow his advice but knew I shouldn’t. I needed to confront my fears and drive in Saskatoon where I’d had my accident. So I rented a car. I ran towards the danger in my own way just like Sarah had.

Was I scared? You bet. I was terrified every time I stepped into that rented car all weekend and when I finally pulled it safely into its spot at the airport on Sunday night just before I flew home I nearly wept with relief.

But I was glad I’d done it. I even went back to the intersection where I’d had the accident and made the same right turn that had been so disasterous for me.

I find as I am getting older I am letting my fears and anxieties direct my life more than I should. I know I am going to have to push myself much harder to be like Sarah Polley and run towards the danger as I age.

When I got on the plane on Friday night to fly to Saskatoon the woman who was sitting beside me asked me to hold the book she was reading while she buckled her seat belt.

Guess what book it was? Sarah Polley’s Run Towards the Danger.

Other posts………

What’s Your Mouse in the Chest?

Don’t Be Scared to be Creative

Terrified Times Three

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Filed under Books, Reflections

A Town Called Solace

I am not a mystery novel fan but the personal and family mysteries in A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson had me intrigued right from the start.

The book set in 1972 has three narrators- an elderly childless widow Mrs Orchard who has been hospitalized, a thirty-something accountant named Liam who has just separated from his wife and quit his job, and seven-year-old Clara, whose teenage sister has run away from home and is missing.

These three people are all in desperate need of solace and Mary Lawson pulls you along as their lives intertwine in ways you would not have expected.

Canadian author Mary Lawson in her office in London, England where she lives.

Solace is the name of a fictional northern Ontario community which provides the setting for the book, and you truly get a feel for the place and the people as you read. I was reminded of the way Maeve Benchy always made me feel right at home in the small communities in her novels. I think I might compare Mary Lawson’s simple, spare writing style to Elizabeth Strout’s.

The story jumps back into the past a fair bit but in Mary Lawson’s able hands, this moving around in time is not confusing at all, something which surprised me.

I am not a feline fan, in fact, I’m allergic to cats, but Moses the shy and discriminating feline in A Town Called Solace managed to wend his way into my heart as he does for all three main characters in the story.

I am an extrovert and a book like this is good for me to read because it helps me understand people who are introverts like two of the protagonists Clara and Liam and the importance of giving folks like them space while at the same time keeping an offer of friendship and connection open in case they change their mind and need or want it.

I could identify with the sense of inertia felt by each of the three characters at some point. We all have times when life circles in on us and we feel stuck, not able to move forward but just getting by in the present.

A Town Called Solace is a novel I’d love to discuss with a book club. It was a satisfying and enjoyable read. It was long-listed for the Booker Prize.

Other posts……….

Olive Again

Vintage Maeve

Mourning Maeve

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The Russian Daughter- A New Book by Sarah Klassen

McNally Robinson Booksellers photo

Sarah Klassen probably best known as an award-winning Manitoba poet, has written a new novel called The Russian Daughter. The story opens in 1904 when baby Sofia is adopted by a Mennonite couple Amalia and Isaak Albrecht who live in the village of Friedental in Ukraine.

They are unable to have a child themselves and so they travel to the city of Kharkov and bring home the tiny daughter of a young unmarried Russian woman who dies giving birth to little Sofia.

Sofia will grow up in Friedental always feeling ‘different’ not only because of her adopted status but also because she has a crooked back. Sofia’s struggle to fit in and feel loved and accepted will shape her life and the choices she makes in profound ways.

Amalia and Isaak are good parents who love the daughter everyone affectionately calls Fia, but they often struggle to understand her. They do the best they can for her and try to find ways to support her and make her happy.

But they always feel a certain distance between themselves and Sofia no matter how hard they try to talk to her and get her to open up to them. Their relationship with a young niece and nephew they also take into their home serves as a stark contrast.

Installation at the Mennonite Heritage Village Museum showing the aftermath of an invasion in a Mennonite home during the Russian Revolution. From the exhibition The Russlander.

Mennonite readers with family roots in Ukraine whose ancestors lived through the Russian Revolution will identify with many of the incidents and experiences of the characters in The Russian Daughter. That was certainly the case for me. When the Albrecht’s home is broken into and Isaak is beaten I remembered the stories my grandparents and my husband’s grandparents told us of similar incidents.

My husband stands on the tracks at the train station in Ukraine where his parents and grandparents left for Canada

When the Albrecht family is at the train station leaving for Canada I was reminded of our visit to the station at Lichtenau in Ukraine where my husband’s parents boarded the train that would eventually take them to Canada.

My husband’s grandmother Gertrude Enns with her four sons. Their nanny is behind the fence.

Sarah makes the local Russians who work for the Albrecht family important characters who play a vital role in the family’s life, especially the housemaid Masha and the farmhand Koyla. I was reminded of a photo of my husband’s grandmother Gertrude with her four little boys on their estate in Kowalicha in Ukraine. Behind them stands the Russian nanny who was indispensable to Gertrude when her husband and brothers-in-law went off to Moscow to work on the medical trains during World War I and she was left to run their estate on her own.

Sarah Klassen the author of The Russian Daughter

I liked the strong female characters Sarah features in her novel. Sofia’s cousin Hannah goes away to high school to further her education. Hannah broadens her worldview through the literature she reads and the new people she meets. Another cousin Annegret gets a job in Moscow helping Mennonites escape Ukraine. Sofia the protagonist is a force to be reckoned with whose prickly independence and determined self-sufficiency often make her life more difficult than it needs to be.

Of course when you are reading a novel written by a poet like Sarah Klassen you are often forced to stop in your reading to appreciate the beauty of her prose. Here’s one sample.

Once again trees and shrubs are exploding into colour as they always do before fall gives way to winter. The splendour of gold and red stirs human hearts to gratitude and wonder, and Lehrer Wiebe is more than willing to let his heart be stirred. When a wind from the steppe comes sweeping across the schoolyard chasing fallen leaves or when swallows swoop low, he urges his students to look. To pay attention. “It’s important,” he tells them.

The Russian Daughter might make the perfect Christmas gift for someone you know

I am the librarian at my church and The Russian Daughter will be a welcome addition to our shelves. It is published by Canadian Mennonite University Press and is available at McNally Robinson Booksellers, and the Common Word Bookstore at CMU.

Other posts………

The Tree of Life- Poems by Sarah Klassen

The Wittenbergs by Sarah Klassen- This Could Have Been a Teen Novel

Flyway A Captivating Family Story That Will Have You Asking Hard Questions

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Filed under Books, Ukraine

A List I Won’t Be Living By

I received the book Lists to Live By in a fun gift exchange at a Christmas party on the weekend. The book was published in 1999. The rules for the gift exchange stated that the gift you brought should be something you no longer had a use for. I can understand why this book’s previous owner no longer had any use for it.

One of the lists in The Book of Lists illustrated how men’s and women’s roles have undergone enormous change in the last few decades. When I found the list below I could hardly finish reading it because I was laughing so hard.

WAYS TO MAKE YOUR HUSBAND FEEL SPECIAL

Never interrupt or correct him.

Make a nice lunch for him to take to work.

Put as much time and attention into your appearance as you did when he was dating you.

Keep your bedroom tastefully decorated and tidy.

Give him time to relax when he gets home from work.

Keep lovemaking fresh and exciting and remember that a man desires intimacy more often than a woman.

Let him know you admire how strong he is.

Be understanding when he wants to spend time enjoying sports or other hobbies with his friends instead of spending time with you and the children.

Bake homemade cookies for him.

Don’t buy him socks and underwear for gifts on holidays and birthdays. Just purchase them for him when he needs them.

This list is so outdated and out of touch, it is hard to believe that just over twenty years ago it would have been considered relevant.

You may be wondering if The Book of Lists also had a list of ways men could make their wives feel special. It does and it is every bit as laughable. I’ll give you just a couple of examples.

Take a clean handkerchief to the movies for her to use when she cries.

Give her a back rub with no expectations of getting lovemaking in return.

Polish her shoes for her.

Eat dainty desserts with her at a Victorian restaurant.

I’ll stop there. I’m sure you get the idea.

Other posts………..

Housework

Are Men and Women’s Friendships Different?

But Not That Long Ago

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Filed under Books, Family, History

Unorthodox

I am glad I saw the television series Unorthodox before I read the book of the same name that inspired it- the memoir of Deborah Feldman. In the filmed version Deborah’s role is played by a very talented actress Shira Haas and her name is not Deborah but Esty.

The series and book are about an orthodox Jewish woman living in New York who leaves her strict Hasidic community in order to start a new life for herself.

The television series begins in a dramatic fashion as Esty is planning her daring escape. The viewer’s interest is engaged almost immediately.

By contrast I found the book’s opening chapters somewhat slow as Feldman gives a long first person narration of her life as a child. She has been raised by her grandparents.

In the book Deborah has a child of her own when she leaves the community. In the film version Esty is pregnant.

I will be honest and say that while I greatly admire Deborah Feldman for what she did in seeking a new life where she would no longer live with the oppression of her misogynist religious community I felt more empathy and connection with Esty the character in the movie.

I also liked the way the film version portrayed the other characters in a more balanced way so we could see their positive traits and their struggles and understand why they acted as they did. In the movie version there weren’t strict ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ the way there seemed to be in the book.

Perhaps I was also influenced by the fact that after I read Unorthodox I found many criticisms of the book online written by people who knew Deborah Feldman and her family and say she distorted and embellished and some cases outright lied about her past experiences.

In the film version one does not need to worry about authenticity because it is first and foremost a dramatic story. As the advertising for the television series makes clear it is only loosely based on Deborah Feldman’s book.

I would highly recommend the television series Unorthodox. If you have to choose to either watch it or read the book I’d definitely watch the series.

Other posts……..

Movie or Book? The Hate You Give

Six Things Jane Austen Movies and Books Have in Common

A Violent Movie About A Violent Story

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Filed under Books, Media, Religion

The Christmas Books

Yesterday on the first Sunday of advent each of our grandchildren got a Christmas book and a pair of Christmas socks from their grandfather and me.

Every November I enjoy looking at children’s books for the holiday season old and new and picking just the right one for each grandchild.

A huge thank you to my online middle grade author community who brought The Vanderbeekers by Karina Yan Glaser to my attention. It was the book I chose for my ten-year-old grandson. A lively family with five children finds out just before Christmas they are about to be evicted from their brownstone apartment in Harlem. The kids begin a campaign to convince their grouchy landlord Mr. Beiderman to change his mind. They get pretty creative!

Dasher a New York Times bestseller by Matt Tavares was my choice for my six-year-old grandson. Dasher is a young doe whose family works and travels under the hot sun with the circus. Dasher’s mother tells her daughter stories about her own very different childhood. She lived where the ground was covered with snow and her family could see the glow of the North Star. Dasher runs away and follows the North Star. When she meets Santa a whole new life begins for her.

For my three-year-old granddaughter I chose Happy All-Days by Cindy Jin which introduces readers to all the different winter holidays that different families from different backgrounds and cultures celebrate including Christmas and Chanukah and Kwanzaa.

I thought I knew all of Robert Munsch’s books but I had never read Finding Christmas which is told in his usual engaging style with a funny twist at the end. The book is illustrated by Munsch’s long time collaborator Michael Martchenko.

For my youngest grandchild who just turned two I picked The Christmas Baby by Marion Dane Bauer. It tells the traditional nativity story but relates the birth of Jesus to the birth of every child.

Perhaps my favourite pick this Christmas is I’m Going to Give You a Polar Bear Hug written by Caroline Cooney and illustrated by Tim Warnes. With lovely lilting rhyming text it tells the story of a child who gets hugs from all kinds of winter animals- a reindeer, a polar bear, a fox, an arctic hare, a penguin and a seal.

My other grandchildren live in Saskatchewan but the youngest is here in Winnipeg so I got to read I’m Going to Give You a Polar Bear Hug to her yesterday and she smiled and named the animals along with me and asked to read it again when we were done. Clearly a winner!

Other posts………….

Christmas Books- 2019

Advent Books- 2020

Christmas Classics for Kids

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Filed under Books, Childhood, Holidays