Barnabas Bigfoot: A Hairy Tangle
Thistledown Press / 14 May 2014

Barnabas Bigfoot: A Hairy Tangle by Marty Chan Published by Thistledown Press Review by Tavish Bell $10.95 ISBN 9781927068052 Barnabas Bigfoot: A Hairy Tangle quite surprised me. Although geared to young readers, I had difficulty putting this book down while reading it. I mean, who doesn’t want to know what the Sasquatch think about us hunting them? A nice fantasy/adventure story, this book was quite interesting, telling the story from the Bigfoot’s view; not only do we see the story from Barnabas Bigfoot’s point of view, we learn that there is a whole society of Bigfoots (Bigfeet, if you will), who live hidden from humanity. The storyline, picking up directly from Barnabas Bigfoot: A Close Shave, was fast paced and pun, but I also appreciated the level of detail in the narrative. The author of this book, Marty Chan, also penned several other juvenile novels, including The Mystery of the Graffiti Ghoul, which won the 2008 Willow Awards. Overall, I would highly recommend this book. It was definitely one of my favorite books to read, and it gave me a few things to think about once I was done, including the joys and difficulties of growing up, and friendship and…

Swedes’ Ferry
Coteau Books / 14 May 2014

Swedes’ Ferry by Allan Safarik Published by Coteau Books Review by Keith Foster $19.95 ISBN 978-1-55050-561-0 Swedes’ Ferry is a double-barrelled adventure tale, and author Allan Safarik lets loose with both barrels blazing. His novel has a cast of colourful characters, some based on actual historical people like North-West Mounted Police Commissioner Lawrence Herchmer, others fictional but very much imbued with the breath of life. The search for a tall man who robbed a bank in Bismarck, North Dakota, killed the manager, and galloped away on a stolen powerhouse of a horse leads two Pinkerton detectives to Regina in 1894. There they try to enlist the aid of the imperious Herchmer, who proves unco-operative. Their break in the case comes from two attractive “spies” operating in a brothel above a Chinese restaurant. The tall man is aided by Bud Quigley, an astute horse trader, who brokers the deal of a lifetime with James J. Hill, president of the Great Northern Railway and owner of the First National Bank that was robbed. A ferry, operated by two Swedish brothers, plays a pivotal role in the tall man’s attempt to retrieve his hidden stash of $44,000. With a background as a poet,…

In Black and White
Landscape Art Publishing / 14 May 2014

In Black and White: A Stroll Through Canadian Landscapes by Waltraude Stehwien Published by Landscape Art Publishing Review by Jessica Bickford $19.95 978-0-9919649-0-1 In Black and White: A Stroll Through Canadian Landscapes is a book unlike any other I’ve encountered. It is a collection of scissorcuttings, also known as papercuttings, which are an art form with a history that traces all the way back to sixth century China. Using only black paper and negative space Waltraude Stehwien creates evocative landscapes and cityscapes that are instantly recognizable to anyone who has travelled through Saskatchewan and Western Canada. The only text in the book is the title of each piece, and the only colours are the simple black and white of Stehwien’s artwork, but as you flip through each page, you can’t help but feel there is a story here. There is also a depth and a kind of warmth that comes from Stehwien’s work, and almost a sense of nostalgic serenity from the prairie scenes that are often devoid of people and wildlife. You can tell you are looking at something that took a lot of time and skill to create, and you can almost feel the chill winter wind, or…

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