The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, illus. by Ellen Beier. Holiday House, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-2134-3
Sneve (Lana’s Lakota Moons) warm, nostalgic story recalls a holiday season on the reservation where her father was the Episcopal priest. Virginia has outgrown her tattered winter coat, but when a donation of used clothing arrives, the girl, guided by her mother’s admonishment (“The others need it more than we do”), doesn’t end up with the coat she longs for. Beier’s detailed, pastel-dominated watercolor and gouache paintings affectingly convey Virginia’s swirling emotions as she tries to reconcile her longing for the coat, her jealousy of the girl who gets it, and her obedience to her mother, which is eventually rewarded. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 09/26/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
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