Red Parka Mary.
Peter Eyvindson. Illustrated by Rhian Brynjolson.
Preschool - grade 3 / Ages 4 - 8.
At first I was scared of her. She didn't hide behind the trees waiting to pop out and scare me. Nor did she ever try to chase after me. But there was something about her that scared me.Saskatchewan author and storyteller Peter Eyvindson has written a gentle and thoughtful tale about intergenerational friendship and love.
A seven-year-old boy narrates his story about his elderly neighbour, Mary. At first, he is afraid of her but, after an encounter, the two develop a remarkable relationship. Before Christmas, the boy decides to buy Mary a red parka because she is always cold. After he gives her the parka, she promises him a fantastic gift on Christmas Day. They play a guessing game and he finally receives a small heart-shaped bead which symbolizes the love Mary can give to him.
The full-colour paintings by Winnipegger Rhian Brynjolson are rich in character and emotion. The scenes in which the boy, in folk tale fashion, tries to guess what he will be given are very amusing. In one scene, the backdrop of Buckingham Palace appears and, in another, everything turns gold - including the boy's dog!
This tender tale is a welcome addition for library collections as it presents a realistic depiction of contemporary First Peoples. Children will enjoy sharing this story at Christmas and at other times during the year.
Lorraine Douglas is Youth Services Coordinator, Winnipeg Public Library.
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Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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