A uniquely illustrated Christmas tale
Family Life | Holidays | Reviews

A uniquely illustrated Christmas tale

Young Jo, her infant brother, and ill, single mother are cast out into the elements on Christmas Eve. Though Jo plans to leave town on a bus with her family, the fierce, unruly winter wind pushes them in the direction of Franklin Murdoch’s barn and house. Jo is afraid of the man, known in the community as mean and crusty; the death of his wife and baby on a Christmas Eve long ago had apparently turned him into a nasty person.

Fun, Friendship, and Adventure on a Harvesting Journey
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Fun, Friendship, and Adventure on a Harvesting Journey

Written in English and Anishinaabemowin, this historically-based children’s picture book portrays what life was like for one child and his community in Duck Bay, Manitoba. Elder Norman Chartrand of the Saulteaux-Metis Anishinaabek nation relates how, when he was a child in the 1940s, he and his family left their home on a two-day journey by wagon to Duck Mountain. There they gathered with many others from surrounding communities to spend a month picking blueberries.

Small Steps of Bravery
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Small Steps of Bravery

Twelve-year-old Jude lives in Syria with her parents and her brother Issa. So far, she’s known only the peace and joy of belonging to a loving family immersed in a Muslim community with a rich culture and devout religious practices. But now she’s begun to worry because Issa is always talking about revolution, democracy, and change.

Hope, Despite the Facts that Can’t Be Changed
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Hope, Despite the Facts that Can’t Be Changed

Twelve-year-old Hanako knows what it’s like to be rejected. She’s already spent four years as a prisoner, forced along with her family and thousands of other Japanese-Americans into internment camps by the United States’ government order after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Now, though World War II has ended, the American government is coercing thousands of Japanese-Americans to renounce their citizenship, and return to Japan, a country many have never been to. Hanako, her younger brother, and her parents are part of the returning throng.

A Message of Hope
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A Message of Hope

Narrated in Swahili and English, this vividly illustrated children’s picture book set in Tanzania relates the story of Ngama, a boy too old to be considered a child and too young to be deemed a man. One day a car arrives in Ngama’s village – a rare occurrence – and he wonders who the visitor is. His father, the chief of their clan, tells him that the country’s leader visited the village to ask the clansmen to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa, and light a candle at the summit to mark Tanzania’s independence.

Mischief, Mayhem and Magic
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Mischief, Mayhem and Magic

Nitty Luce has known only rejection, criticism and hunger in the ten years she’s lived at the Grimsgate Orphanage. Though she fears the headmistress’s threats of what will happen to orphans who run away, one day she ventures far from the despicable home into the nearby town and encounters a grim sight. A crowd gathering by the travelling Gusto and Gallant Circus is anticipating the hanging of an elephant, the Great Magnolious, who is accused of killing his trainer.

Fulfilling a Father’s Charge
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Fulfilling a Father’s Charge

In the spring of 1944, during the holocaust’s final phase, 15-year-old Max Eisen and his family were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau from their home in the wartime boundaries of Hungary. Approximately 800,000 other Jews from that area met a similar fate. Of the 60 members of Max’s extended family, only three survived.

Lovely New Picture Books
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Lovely New Picture Books

A young girl lives in a little house by a train track in the middle of a vast prairie. Each morning, as the train whizzes past, the girl waves at the engineer and he waves back. Though the train engineer comes and goes, “his wave and her wave together made a home in her heart.” The girl wonders about the engineer: Where does he come from and where is he going? Does he like his uniform and engineer’s cap? And she wonders if she might go away some day, too.

All God’s Creatures
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All God’s Creatures

When God created the world in all its grandeur and variety, he also made animals of every kind and declared his creation “good!” In this vividly illustrated picture book using digitally coloured ink drawings, author Daniel Kirk celebrates creatures of the sea, earth, and air.