Storybooks are something we treasure in our house. Stories invoke imagination, they may wind you up in thoughts of fantasy or leave you feeling introspective and pondering the mysteries of life. Sometimes they do all of those things.
A Gift For Sophie
Songs and story by Gilles Vigneault
Gilles Vigneault, a member of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, is hailed as one of Canada’s most important music figures of the 20th century, especially as a champion Québécois folksinger. His work often evokes his great love of nature and the passion he has for his hometown – Natashquan, a remote, wind-swept village on the banks of the St. Lawrence. He has received numerous distinctions including the “Grand prix du disque de l’Académie Charles-Cros” in France and the “Médaille Vermeil” offered by the City of Paris.
Illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch
Stéphane Jorisch is a four-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Ruth-Schwartz Children’s Book Award and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award. He has also created set designs for Le Cirque du Soleil.
Sophie is a seven year old girl with a big imagination and an even bigger heart. A Gift for Sophie gives us a peek into her life as we follow her friendship with her dear Emilio who is along every step of the way as Sophie learns to deal with the loss of her dear Uncle “Old Man Tom.” It is clear, from the start, that Sophie’s relationships with both Emilio and Old Man Tom are incredibly important to her. The way in which Emilio, tenderly and innocently helps Sophie work through the loss is heart warming. And the lessons that Old Man Tom imparts onto both these young lives are priceless.
A Gift for Sophie is a beautiful story written in language and from a perspective that children both understand and relate to. It also comes with a CD that contains both a narration of the story (which is perfect for young readers) and some delightful songs that carry the underlying themes in the book a little further and also gives some more insight into the characters.
What I like about A Gift for Sophie:
- It’s the perfect length. Long enough to wrap children up in the story but not so long that their attention wavers.
- The illustrations are lovely. They add just the right amount of visualization to the story without being distracting.
- The songs on the accompanying CD are refreshingly “folksy” and beautiful.
- I love that the CD also contains an audio version of the book. This is the kind of thing I remember well, and loved, as child but you don’t see a lot of anymore in this more electronic age. It’s simple and easy and just goes perfectly with the soft and gentle story.
- I also really like that the lyrics for the songs on the CD are all included in the back of the book. Who doesn’t love to sing along to a good folk song?
- It’s Canadian. Written by a Canadian (Gilles Vigneault), illustrated by a Canadian (Stéphane Jorisch was born in Brussels but has spent most of his life in Canada) and published by a Canadian publisher (The Secret Mountain)
A Gift for Sophie (geared toward 5-7 year olds) is available in hard cover and comes with the audio CD OR it can be downloaded an an e-book on your IOS device. You can purchase either version on The Secret Mountain website. The Secret Mountain is a Canadian publisher dedicated to the creation of high quality books, audio recordings an video.
The Secret Mountain is generously giving TWO lucky Mommy Outside Readers the chance to win their own copy of A Gift for Sophie. One Canadian reader and one US reader will each win a copy. This would be a really nice Christmas gift for the little book lovers on your list! Enter in the Rafflecopter form below!
Giveaway open to residents of Canada and US. Giveaway ends December 2, 2013. One main entry per household. There will be one Canadian winner and one US winner. Winners will be emailed and must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be drawn.
I was given a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. Opinions here are completely my own.