The Mummer’s Song

Don’t seem like Christmas if the mummers are not here, Granny would say as she knit in her chair. But on a cold, clear Newfoundland night shortly after Christmas, several outlandishly costumed mummers do appear and Granny’s house suddenly erupts in a burst of joking and tomfollery, raucous singing and exuberant dancing. Granny and her two young charges are instantly caught up in the merriment,  When the evening’s festivities come to a close, the mummers are bid a fond farewell until next year.

Popular singer Bud Davidage wrote “The Mummer’s Song” as a tribute to a centuries-old custom in danger of disappearing.  Since its publication in 1973, it has fostered a revival of mummering, as noted author and Newfoundland son Kevin Major points out in his afterword.  The sparkling illustrations in this picture book adaptation are by the well-known Canadian artist Ian Wallace.

Singing Down the Rain

Step into a town where all the children are friends, but a drought has made the adults so grumpy they can’t stop arguing! Only a miracle can heal this divided town. Folks are so hopeless, they almost don’t recognize that miracle when it appears as a woman who specializes in rainsongs. Yet slowly the townspeople realize that with faith they can sustain each other during the dry times, and then sing down the rain together. Joy Cowley’s lyrical text and Jan Spivey Gilchrist’s impassioned paintings create a story of a community’s struggle to believe, and to connect with each other.