October 06, 2013

The Best Gifts

by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch
Illustrated by Elly MacKay
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
98-1-55455-283-2
32 pp.
Ages 4-8
May, 2013

Throughout Sara's life, she is wrapped in love and celebrated with joy and gifts.  From birthdays, to graduation, to marriage, Sara is showered with adoration.  But the very best gift is the one that she receives at her mother's breast with her father beside them, and the one that she gives her own child, Sam, at the conclusion of the book.

This new edition of Marsha Skrypuch's The Best Gifts (originally illustrated by Halina Below; Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1998) is the story of a new life that is nurtured and treasured, and allowed to grow and flourish so that she may share the same gifts with her newborn son.  And the final message,
"...the best gifts can never be bought"
is warmly extended through the unique paper art of Elly MacKay.

Award-winning author of children's fiction and non-fiction Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch has always been able to touch readers' hearts with her poignant takes on historical circumstances of the Ukrainian Holodomyr, the Armenian genocide, airlifts from Vietnam and immigration. But this story comes from the past, the present and the future, for every child born and yet to be born, in love and care, and blessed with a mother's milk, sharing the most natural of first gifts.  Complemented with Elly MacKay's soft, ethereal paper artwork, Marsha Skrypuch's text gently shares the importance of breastfeeding without insisting that readers get up close and personal with it.  While resources and links to organizations and research into the valuable nature of breastfeeding are provided, Marsha Skrypuch and Elly MacKay have taken a step back from lauding breastfeeding directly and allowed The Best Gifts to be introduced to a younger readership with the aim of appreciating the nature of all gifts (though The Best Gifts is still a great gift for new parents!)

1 comment:

Marsha Skrypuch said...

Thank you for the wonderful review, Helen! This book holds a special place in my heart. I love Elly's artwork.