June 16, 2013

Once Upon a Northern Night

by Jean E. Pendziwol
Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
Groundwood Books
36 pp.
Ages 4-7
August, 2013

Think of those cold Canadian winter nights, when the fallen snow has us cocooned inside and a quiet stillness blankets the land.  A confetti of snow flakes drift beyond the windows, mounding on branches, railings, and the hidden promises of spring.  If you can place yourself in this divine winter scene and know of a child with whom you may share this, Once Upon a Northern Night will be a lovely addition to your lullaby collection.

I may be reviewing this in June, and it may be the hot summer of August when Once Upon a Northern Night will be released by Groundwood Books, but those are only dates and seasons.  Jean E. Pendziwol's text will transport you beyond a calendar to a darkened night lit by falling snow, taking a path through the pines and birches, sprinkled with flakes, to a garden and frozen apples.  You'll see the deer, owl, hares, fox and mouse but never hear them as their scampers and play are buffered by the snow.  And the glimmering sky of colours and shapes!  Perfection needs no other words.  And Isabelle Arsenault's gentle and reassuring drawings lighten the night-time fears of darkness and warm the winter's cold, creating a soft shelter of wonder and innocence, life and love.  No meditation or relaxation exercise could ever bring the serenity and adoration the infuses Once Upon a Northern Night, soothing all readers, young and old alike.

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This lovely book trailer was just uploaded to YouTube from House of Anansi and it's just too precious not to share.

Once Upon a Northern Night

Uploaded by House of Anansi on July 17, 2013 to YouTube

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written, as always Helen. I love this book and look forward to its release. -- monica