December 19, 2013
Christmas stories from the Maritimes
A Maritime Christmas Treasury: Stories, Songs, and Poems to Celebrate the Season
Nimbus Publishing has put together a cheerful and heart-warming collection of Christmas tales and poems. As with many compilations, there are hits and misses, but overall, the volume makes for fun holiday reading. It begins well with the hilarious Gadzooks: The Christmas Goose before becoming a little sentimental with A Christmas Dollhouse, which also suffers from a minor editing problem (a few words were missing in my review copy). Snow for Christmas is short and sweet, Love from Katie is the most heartfelt, while The True Meaning of Crumbfest puts a unique spin on the traditional Christmas tale (although having the names in all-caps was slightly distracting).
A Forest for Christmas is the longest story. It's a fantasy about a girl named Emily who can talk to birds and animals, a magic hat, and a villain named Buggleysmug. He wants to cut down the forest to build a whatzit factory, so it's up to Emily and the animals to save it. The story has the most full-page illustrations, adding to its appeal.
Unfortunately, when stories are condensed into compilations such as these, pictures tend to get smaller or are cut altogether. I was disappointed that the twelve drummers drumming were excluded from A Bluenose Twelve Days of Christmas. It would be best to seek out the picture book version instead.
Interspersed between the stories are nostalgic holiday poems, including one by Louisa May Alcott. Her poem nicely recalls the joy of Christmas.
This is my final post of the year. Look for new reviews beginning January 8, 2014.