Monthly Archives: February 2014

Review of Sarah Whitcher’s Story by Elizabeth Yates

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I found an ex-lib copy of Sarah Whitcher’s Story for sale at a local library and bought it. I remembered hearing about this book while I was homeschooling my children. The hardback version that I bought was beautifully illustrated in black and white sketches by Nora Unwin.

Last night, I sat down and read it. It is based on a real event that happened in Warren, New Hampshire in the late 1700’s. A little daughter of a pioneer family named Sarah Whitcher becomes lost in the woods outside her log home one day. Her mother and father had gone to get supplies and Sarah wanted to go with them, but was not permitted. Her older brother was to watch over her and some of the other children.

But Sarah slipped away and no one could find her by the time Mother and Father got home. In the meantime, she is playing in the woods pretending she is her mother and father. It starts to rain and she cannot find her way back to the log cabin. She ends up being protected by a mother bear who treats her like she is her bear-cub. But Sarah does not realize that it is a bear protecting her, for she thinks it is the family’s dog.

The community rallies around the Whitcher family in the attempt to find the little girl. Neighbors come from far and near to help out in the search every day for three days. Sarah’s mother is only heartened when she hears her husband tell her to trust in the Lord that Sarah would be found.

After the third day, the neighbors are ready to give up the search, for they think she will not be found alive. Mrs. Whitcher implores them to come back for one more day of searching, and so they agree.

Sarah’s parents refuse to give up hope and on that fourth day a stranger walks into the clearing saying he had  dreamed three times about a little girl that was lost and in the dream was shown just where to find her. He tells them he will find her. The Whitcher’s neighbor accompanies him, but in disbelief.  Astonishingly, the man walks to the spot that he saw three times in his dream and finds the little girl there.

A signal is given by gunfire that Sarah has been found and soon all the neighbors are rejoicing with the Whitcher’s. Mr. Whitcher says that He knew the Lord would help them find her somehow. At the end of the book, the stranger soon leaves but he hears the village singing praises to God as he walks away.

This is a great book for readers in elementary school. It could be read by the child alone but it also would be great for a read aloud. Emphasized within are the values of faith, family and community. It shows children how neighbors used to help each other out and worked together, something that has sadly become less and less common.

The black and white pictures are endearing, especially of the little girl Sarah. This is an older book, published in 1971 by E.F. Dutton, but it is a classic. It will help children learn about our pioneer heritage as well. I really enjoyed it, and it reminded me of my love for reading pioneer stories when I was a girl. It will be worth the time taken to share with your young readers.

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Filed under Bible instruction, book lovers, character-building books, homeschooling, parenting, pioneer families, Uncategorized

A review of Grandma’s Scrapbook by Josephine Nobisso, Illustrated by Maureen Hyde

New grandma that I am, I found a lovely book to review called Grandma’s Scrapbook by Josephine Nobisso. This is a picture book for preschoolers that I found at our local library.

Al little girl remembers, from looking at a scrapbook, precious times with her Grandma. The Grandmother made it with love so the child will remember all her special times with her grandmother.  It tells of the child growing up, from baby pictures, toddlerhood, and onward. Grandma played an integral part in this child’s life. Going to the ocean and being dunked by the waves, having a cocoa party in their swimsuits, bicycling, and singing around the piano were some of the activities they enjoyed together. All the while, Grandma adds the memories to the scrapbook, starting it with a lock of her “crow black” hair and a snippet of her grand-daughter’s baby hair.

As the pictures progress throughout the story, Grandma looks increasingly older with each one and the little girl grows into a young woman. She gets to make a trip to Grandma’s alone, but she cries when she says goodbye to her that year. That brings back memories for me as well. Every summer, my family and I drove 500 miles to visit my  one grandmother. I would cry as it got to be time to say goodbye, for I never knew if I would see my grandma again.

Finally, the girl takes her grandma for a walk in her wheelchair. That will be her last visit with her grandma. Now, she can evoke the memories by leafing through the scrapbook that grandma made with love.

The full color pictures add a lot to the story. This book will help parents who are trying to explain the death of someone special in their child’s life.and help children to deal with their grief. I enjoyed reading this book myself, being an adult. It also has inspired me to start a scrapbook for my precious little grandsons.Image

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Filed under book lovers, books for preschoolers, new grandmas, parenting, scrapbooking, Uncategorized