CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 9 . . . . December 22, 2006
Two Christmas favorites, illustrated by award winning Frances Tyrrell, The Huron Carol and Woodland Nutcracker, have been re-issued as picture book paperbacks. Each can be used as a read-aloud with younger children or as a self-read for older students. In addition, each can be extended by comparison with other versions, such as Ian Wallace's newly published The Huron Carol (Anansi Press, 2006), or, in the case of The Nutcracker, by listening to the music.
In 1643, Father Jean de Brebeuf, a Jesuit missionary, retells the story of the Nativity for the Huron nation. First written in the Huron language, and later translated into French then English, The Huron Carol has become a Christmas classic. The eloquent text and dynamic illustrations capture the Huron culture. Each double-spread features sparse text on the left surrounded by a thin golden border and ample white space. A variety of native, as well as winter icons, are scattered throughout. For instance, snow flakes, constellations in the form of native animals, slabs of birch bark, and angels in native costumes add impact. On the right hand side, an arched "window" shows Huron lodges, hunters on snowshoes, and three chiefs from different tribes coming to pay tribute to the infant and bearing gifts of fox and beaver pelts. Rich hues of brown accentuate the pictures while the detailed borders display more native motifs in icy blue and white that extend the magical wintry tone. The lyrics and score are appended as is a page-long account of Father de Brebeuf's ministry to the Hurons.
In the Woodland Nutcracker, Avrill Tyrrell retells the story of the Nutcracker ballet based on E.T.A. Hoffman's original.
Thus begins the story of bear cub, Clara, and her journey as "guest of honor at the palace of the great bear, Ursa Major."
At the ice palace, she is entertained by Yuk Tuk, the Olympian polar bear presenting her ribbon routine, a mice and squirrel marching band, Mother Grizzly and her hockey team in maple leaf decorated sweaters, as well as juggling pandas, and koala trapeze artists.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.