Our favourite Christmas gift to give or receive is a book. No surprise there. Here are our favourite books to give this holiday season. There’s something for Dad, for a three-year-old, and everyone else on your list.
The Fox and My Boot, by Lana de Bastiani
I am giving my mother The Fox and My Boot, by Lana de Bastiani, and illustrated by Janet Pacey. This book tells the true story of a mischievous fox that steals Lana’s boot and her gloves when she goes skating on a pond near her house. All of the animals in the area help Lana to find her boot. My mother loves foxes and their antics. The Fox and My Boot is a children’s book but a fun read for people of all ages.
-Kathryn Barry Paddock
Cornelius’s Conundrum: The Sewer Central Star, by Paul McAllister and Emily Brown
This year I am excited to give my three-year-old daughter Cornelius’s Conundrum: The Sewer Central Star, by Paul McAllister and Emily Brown. This is the third book about Herman the Monster. We loved the first two so much my daughter dresses up as a monster for bedtime stories. Paul McAllister is a friend of my sister’s, and we got the first book through a Go Fund Me campaign. Since then, Herman has become a well-known character and even the star of his own publishing company, Monster House Publishing. We’re excited to see what adventures this group of adorable monsters gets up to next!
Trickster Drift, by Eden Robinson
This Christmas, I’m giving Eden Robinson’s new book, Trickster Drift, to my dad. The book is the second in her Trickster trilogy. It follows Jared, the son of a trickster, as he attempts to navigate natural and supernatural dangers, and still get to school on time. Many years ago, my dad introduced me to Eden Robinson’s writing by giving me Monkey Beach as a Christmas gift. I look forward to continuing the tradition this year (and borrowing Trickster Drift once he’s finished).
Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, by Pénélope Bagieu
Who couldn’t do with a little extra girl power in their lives? This holiday season my book recommendation is Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, written and illustrated by Pénélope Bagieu. Although this book belongs more in the youth category, it really caught my eye while browsing at the book store. It’s still a great read for adults too. Brazen is a graphic biography that shares stories of brave, powerful, and intelligent women throughout history. Bagieu’s added wit and comedy bring to life these stories of both famous and little-known women.
The Boat People, by Sharon Bala
The Boat People, by Sharon Bala is my choice for this year’s Christmas giving. This is a refugee story of people choosing to risk their lives in the hopes of an open-arms welcome in Canada. Instead, they are held in detention for months under threat of deportation. I was interested in the hopes and dreams of the migrants as they anticipate life in Canada. The politics of immigration in Canada is an ever-changing landscape and this book delves into our past treatment of immigrants. The Boat People makes me wonder about the stories of the immigrants who participate in our Community Connections program.
I’m not just recommending a book; I’m recommending a publishing house—Inhabit Media out of Nunavut. I like to give northern books to my friends and their families at Christmas time and Inhabit Media is a wonderful source. I have two favourites this year. The first is Takannaaluk, by Elder, Herve Paniaq, and exquisitely illustrated by Germaine Arnaktauyok, who now lives in Yellowknife. It’s in Inuktitut and English and suitable for both youth and adults. It’s the story of Sedna, the mother of the sea mammals. The second is How Nivi Got Her Names, by Laura Deal and illustrated by Charlene Chua. This is a simple introduction to traditional Inuit naming practices and how important they are. The Yellowknife Book Cellar has many of Inhabit Media’s books for children, youth and adults. You can also order them online.