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The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood

by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve
Illustrated by Ellen Beier

Published by Holiday House , 2011
32 pages
ISBN: trade 978𢠪234-21343

Ages 4-8

In a story based on the author抯 childhood, young Virginia is in need of a new winter coat梥omething her family can抰 afford. Instead, she has to wait and see if there抯 a coat in the 揟heast boxes梒lothing donated from New England (搕he East) churches. And when the boxes finally arrive, there is! It抯 made of animal fur, and Virginia longs for it. But because she is the minister抯 daughter, she has to wait until the rest of the congregation families have chosen what they need. Inevitably, the coat is taken. To make matters worse, it抯 taken by a girl whom Virginia can抰 stand. Young Virginia抯 authentically childlike feelings of disappointment and jealousy as she struggles to uphold the values of selflessness stressed by her parents are wonderfully realized. And her effort is sweetly rewarded, most notably when Christmas brings an unexpected surprise in this picture book that offers a realistic look at economic hardship in the context of a warm and loving family. Aspects of Native (Sneve is Sioux) culture are subtle elements of the story, and occasionally stand out in the illustrations.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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