Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review:A Winter Solstice Celebration by DiDi LeMay

Illustrations by Jacquie Campbell
Publisher: AuthorHouse

 Miya, a young village girl, sets out one wintry day to feed the forest animals. This sensitive child has always been concerned about her wild neighbors. Every winter she makes it a habit to ensure they have food. On this particular day, Miya is in for a big surprise.

Deep in the woods, Miya encounters a talking squirrel who demands she leave the forest. As soon as she gets over the shock of talking to a squirrel, Miya ponders why she is so unwelcome in this place she loves. Trying to find her way home, she becomes lost and stumbles upon an animal meeting led by a haughty owl. Here, she discovers why humans are so disliked and mistrusted among the creatures of the forest. Encouraged by a kindly crow, she becomes determined to change the way humans and animals get along.
As the story unfolds, Miya must find a way to make peace between the village community and the forest dwellers.

The Earth is our Mother
We must take care of her.

This little refrain we used to sing with the children at pre-school perfectly describes the environmental message contained in a book which will help children be aware of the need to honour and respect nature and to accept responsibility for caring for her and all the creatures who live on earth.

Of picture book size, but with considerably more written story than one would expect , A Winter Solstice Celebration is an ideal book for reading aloud to children. Initially I thought the white on blue text might be a problem but it wasn't although I didn't care for the all capital letters - probably because it's not something I'm used to reading.

The story itself, and the illustrations, are lovely . Both the grandchildren I read it to , and myself, agreed that the talking animals were ' really cool'. Each of the animals has a very distinctive voice which a creative reader can have lots of fun with.
As well as the environmental issues, by following Miya's adventure children learn the importance of listening to another person's point of view and of having the courage to take action and speak out for what you believe in and that it is possible for one small voice to make change for the better.

A universal message that we're never too old to listen to.

Visit DiDi LeMay at her

I received this book for review from The YP Publishing as part of A Winter Solstice Celebration blog tour - thank you!

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