Book review and author contest announcement - Winter Solstice

I am pleased to be reviewing A Winter Solstice Celebration by Didi LeMay today.

  Product Description

What adventures are waiting for Miya as she walks to the forest to feed the animals?An angry squirrel, a gentle crow, and an intimidating owl are just some of the interesting characters Miya meets in the forest. The animals are concerned about the environmental impact the humans have on their forest. It's up to Miya to deliver this message to the villagers.
But can she be convincing enough?
While reading this beautifully illustrated story, children will be silently rooting for Miya as she tries to support her new animal friends. They will be so captivated by Miya's adventures, young readers will not realize they are learning lessons in helping others, standing up for their beliefs, conquering their fears, and caring for the environment.

  From the Back Cover

We saw a few adults and children walking through the cornfields towards the forest," chirped the sparrows. "Yes, the humans are defiantly coming to the forest."
The fox and the bear cub gasped in surprise. The chipmunk stopped dancing and nervously paced up and down the fallen tree trunk. The fawn giggled anxiously, and the squirrel and the owl had deep frowns on their faces. They were very worried.
"Do you know why these humans are on their way?" asked the squirrel.
"No, we don't," twittered one of the sparrows. "We did notice that they have large bags with them."
"Do they have axes and saws with them?" asked the owl, her voice trembling with anxiety.
"We couldn't see any," replied the sparrows. "We circled around a few times, but we couldn't tell if they had axes or saws."
"Are the villagers coming to chop down the trees?" asked the fox. This was very alarming.

My review:
This book is a charming way to engage children in a discussion about how they impact their world.  Centering around the Solstice holiday, which is also explained, Ms. LeMay offers children a look at how humans impact their world from the perspective of animals - both positive and negative.  The big issue is the cutting down the trees in the forest that the animals call home and this story empowers Miya to both consider the impact of her actions and to take a stand against what she feels is wrong.
I did have a hard time with some of the grammar constructs and punctuation - there are no quotation marks when people or animals are speaking, and there are places where some editing would make the story flow better, but I have to say that the message helps you overcome these obstacles.
I like that this book gives a child a voice for change and empowers her to take control of a situation by speaking out.  I think that this book is an opportunity to open a dialog about how they can impact the environment and the world around them by speaking out or making changes in their own life.

From December 10-12th, Didi LeMay is offering a contest here to win an ipod shuffle and other prizes.  There are two ways to enter - answer a question about how you help the environment or purchase her book.  Head on over to and enter! (Do not enter on this blog, it will not be counted)

Where to purchase:
Purchase A Winter Solstice Celebration from for just $23.99

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purposes of completing this review, all opinions are my own.