H is for Home

8 December 2021

H is for Home: A Saskatchewan Alphabet”
by Amber Antymniuk
Published by Blow Creative Arts
Review by Amanda Zimmerman
$22.00 ISBN 9781999546205

H is for Home is another adorably presented tale from the author of the debut children’s book Grandpa’s Garage! Amber Antyminuk’s next story again draws inspiration from her rural upbringing on an acreage outside of Tisdale, a community in the northeastern part of Saskatchewan. Now making her home in the bustling city of Saskatoon, she revisits her childhood with enthusiasm, an enthusiasm clearly shown in both her writing style and artistic abilities. Stating herself that all good Saskatchewan stories are formed “where a highway meets an unmarked grid road”, the personal experience she shares adds credibility to her work and all readers fortunate enough to live in one of the prairie provinces will thoroughly enjoy the adventure she shares.

In H is for Home: A Saskatchewan Alphabet, our author visits all twenty-six letters of the English alphabet with a single image representing each one. In every pair of letters, readers find an easy rhyme and careful notice is given to the amount of syllables. There are only a few pages where the syllable number doesn’t match but these rare instances don’t detract from the overall story-line. Because of this attention to detail, the book flows harmoniously. Antyminuk also perfectly captures the wholesomeness of farming and prairie life through pictures.

Her degrees in both Fine and Visual Arts, as well as the years of kindergarten to grade eight Art Education teaching she completed before going on parental leave with her son, are easily recognizable. She features everything from animals to native plants with ease, managing a delicate mix between realism and whimsy. You can almost feel the cow’s felt-soft nose and the pokey tips of purple flowered thistles! The sketches are all captivating in their simple expression. First outlined in ink, they are given life with gentle paintbrush strokes and playful watercolours. She utilizes her creativity further in the commissions she accepts and paintings she offers through Blow Creative Arts, a combination art gallery and instructional space thoughtfully incorporating her family’s name.


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