Alphabet of the First Christmas, An
Uncategorized , White Lily Press / 7 December 2017

An Alphabet of the First Christmas: A Christian Alphabet Book by Susan Harris Published by White Lily Press Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $12.00 ISBN 978-0-9949869-2-4 Author Susan Harris has added another alphabet book to her growing list of titles: An Alphabet of the First Christmas: A Christian Alphabet Book, will be specifically welcome to those who wish to teach (or learn!) the alphabet from a Christmas-themed and a Christian perspective. Like her book, Christmas A to Z, this softcover leads young readers through a colourful array of images, and it uses some “big” words to represent certain letters. For example, “B” is for Bethlehem, “E” is for “Emmanuel,” “F” is “Frankincense,” and “Y” is for “Yeshua,” “the Hebrew name for Jesus,” meaning saviour. I applaud Harris for using both simple words and these more difficult ones: I can almost hear a little child carefully pronouncing “Frankincense” after he or she hears it, and enjoying both the challenge and the sound of the word. Several of the illustrations reminded me of traditional Christmas card images, while others featured cartoon-like characters. The book is perfect for Christmas gift-giving, as it even includes a handy “To” and “From” page at the beginning….

Aboriginal Rock Paintings of the Churchill River, The

The Aboriginal Rock Paintings of the Churchill River by Tim E.H. Jones Published by Saskatchewan Archaeological Society Review by Keith Foster $21.00 ISBN 9780969142065 When Tim Jones saw his first rock paintings on Kipahigan Lake in northern Saskatchewan in 1964, he was both puzzled and fascinated by them. The subject of his Master’s thesis, studying these paintings became his lifelong passion. The Aboriginal Rock Paintings of the Churchill River is the second printing of a book originally published in 1981 based on Jones’s thesis. By the time it went out of print in 2005, it had become a “best seller,” having sold more copies than any other book dealing with Saskatchewan’s archeological past. According to Jeff Baldwin, President of the Saskatchewan Archaeological Society, the book remains “the main published resource on the ancient rock art of Saskatchewan’s north.” In his preface, Jones points out the importance of this study. “Rock art is the most widely spread, diverse and ancient of all human creative endeavours.” In learning about past artists and their worlds, we learn more about our own world and our current culture. These rock paintings depict a variety of subjects, primarily human-like figures, thunderbirds, and snakes. Tobacco pipes, rings,…

Wild Rose
Uncategorized / 18 September 2015

Wild Rose by Sharon Butala Published by Coteau Books Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $21.95 ISBN 9-781550-506365 After completing Sharon Butala’s epic new novel Wild Rose, I closed the book and thought: This is why she’s on CanLit’s “A” list. If you’re in the mood for getting completely swept up in a female pioneer’s adventure–and this means fully empathizing with the young Québécois idealist, Sophie, as she sets out in 1884 for the West and the freedom it signifies–then buckle up, because Butala assuredly leads readers back in time to a landscape where “the sun [pours] itself over everything: horses, the hats of the men, the few women’s entangling skirts, the children’s round eager faces, the …already weathered false-fronted buildings, piles of all kinds of goods on the ground from walking plows to stained sacks … to the teams of horses, the train itself …”. Butala has a masterly way with landscape, making it, too, feel like a character you enjoy spending time with. Given her many years of living on the Prairies-plus the fine craft she’s already demonstrated with sixteen highly-revered titles, including GG-nominated fiction and nonfiction-she comes by this gift honestly. This is a writer who’s experienced “a…