The Little Coat
DriverWorks Ink / 13 October 2010

The Little Coat by Alan J. Buick Published by DriverWorks Ink Review by Joan Givner $19.95 ISBN 978-0-9810394-3-5 Alan J. Buick deftly weaves together the true stories of two people against the background of World War II. The first is Everdina (nicknamed ‘Sussie’), a little Dutch girl whose family suffered and survived the horrors of the German occupation. The other is Bob Elliott from Alberta, who enlisted in the Canadian army at the age of fifteen by lying about his age. Their stories intersect when his tank brigade arrived in Holland. Sussie became the brigade’s mascot and was rewarded one Christmas with an amazing gift. It was a set of new clothes to replace her ragged ones. These included the coat of the title, made by a local dressmaker and decorated with eight beautiful buttons, each one donated by a soldier from his uniform. The coat was still Sussie’s most cherished possession when Bob made a return visit to the Netherlands decades later. The two, both now divorced, met, fell in love, and married. They spent the rest of their lives together, dividing their time between Canada and Holland. Sussie donated her coat to the Canadian Legion Hall in Olds,… by Mercedes Montgomery Published by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing Review by Joan Givner $12.95 ISBN 978-1-894431-29-3 When Angela returns from holiday on her thirteenth birthday, she finds her room transformed into an arctic setting, complete with murals of polar bears. She has “had a thing” for polar bears ever since a family holiday in Jasper National Park. Subsequent chapters explain the source of her preoccupation, and take the form of an animal fable. The polar bears of northern Manitoba have begun to have prophetic dreams of disaster. Led by a young bear called Nanuq, they convene to discuss the cause and remedy. The cause is global warming, melting ice, and the disappearance of their food source. They decide that the hope for saving their habitat lies with the children of the world, and resolve to find children and make them aware of their plight. Nanuq makes the arduous journey to Jasper, where he sees Angela. They are brought together when he rescues her from an accident on the ski-slope. From that moment on, she is converted to the cause of saving the polar bears and joins forces with others converted to activism by the traveling bears. Like most animal…

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