Speed and self-confidence that’s Astrid’s motto, Nicknamed “the little thunderbolt,” she loves to spend her days racing down the hillside on her skis or sled, singing merrily as she goes, and drinking hot chocolate made from real chocolate bars with her grumpy best friend and godfather, Gunnvald. She just wishes there were other children to share in her hair-raising adventures. But her world is about to be turned upside down, first by the arrival of a family with children to her village, and then by a mysterious woman whom everyone but Astrid seems to know.
Based on the perennially popular Canadian folk song and animated short film of the same name, The Log Driver’s Waltz showcases a spunky, independent young woman whose parents are keen for her to marry. The town’s well-to-do doctors, merchants, and lawyers try to impress her, but it’s the humble log driver—with his style, grace, and joie de vivre—who captures her attention. When she and the log driver finally meet on the dance floor, their joy leaps off the page.
For the brother and sister in this novel in verse, each day begins with a barnyard wakeup call. During a summer spent on their grandparents’ farm, they collect eggs from the chicken coop, put on shows for city folks in passing trains, fill in for the farm dog by barking the cows home and dance around the perfectly ripening watermelon growing in Grandma’s garden. All of these barnyard adventures happen in the company of Rexter the rooster, Seed-Sack the mule and Ginger-Tea the farm dog animal friends that will steal readers’ hearts over the course of a carefree rooster summer.
A young boy wakes up to the sound of the sea, visits his grandfather’s grave after lunch and comes home to a simple family dinner, but all the while his mind strays to his father digging for coal deep down under the sea. Stunning illustrations by Sydney Smith, the award-winning illustrator of Sidewalk Flowers, show the striking contrast between a sparkling seaside day and the darkness underground where the miners dig. With curriculum connections to communities and the history of mining, this story brings a piece of history to life. The ever-present ocean and inevitable pattern of life in a maritime mining town will enthrall children and move adult readers.
A Traveller girl creates her own musical instrument from a willow branch and lots of recycled objects. She plays it enthusiastically, but it sounds terrible! Ignoring warnings not to awaken the ogre in the hills, Ossiri goes there to practise playing her instrument.
A little boy in India longs to become a snake charmer. Vishnu dreams of being a snake charmer like his father. He already knows how to handle cobras and he is learning to play the special flute. He longs to go to the city to charm snakes while the tourists watch. But his father thinks that education is more important, so Vishnu must stay home. Life in the village is never dull, though. There are plenty of games and chores to keep everyone busy, and then there’s school, which is taught outdoors. And every few weeks Vishnu’s father-and the snakes-return home to visit. A striking introduction to life in India as seen through the eyes of one little boy.
When Sunflower, a young city girl, moves to the countryside, she grows to love the reed marsh lands – the endlessly flowing river, the friendly buffalo with their strong backs and shiny round heads, the sky that stretches on and on in its vastness. However, the days are long, and the little girl is lonely. Then she meets Bronze, who, unable to speak, is ostracized by the other village boys. Soon the pair are inseparable, and when Bronze’s family agree to take Sunflower in, it seems that fate has brought him the sister he has always longed for. But life in Damaidi is hard, and Bronze’s family can barely afford to feed themselves.
This book is a focus book for August 2017’s My Take/Your Take and a WOW Recommends: Book of the Month selection for December 2017.
Evacuated to a remote Yorkshire valley during World War II, a homesick ten-year-old English girl discovers an abandoned baby and befriends a gypsy boy, despite local prejudice.
A dog thinks he wants to leave the farm for the big city, but he finds out happiness is right next door.
When the house was new, not a single tree remained on its perfect lawn to give shade from the sun. The children in the house trailed the scent of wild trees to neighboring lots, where thick bushes offered up secret places to play. When the children grew up and moved away, their father, alone in the house, continued his battle against blowing seeds, plucking out sprouting trees. Until one day the father, too, moved away, and as the empty house began its decline, the trees began their approach. At once wistful and exhilarating, this lovely, lyrical story evokes the inexorable passage of time — and the awe-inspiring power of nature to lift us up