CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 17 . . . . April 28, 2006
The story of Angelique is continued in this fourth book which is part of the “Our Canadian Girl” series. Angelique is home with her brother, Joseph, and her cousin, Thérèse. At the end of the third book, Thérèse’s young husband had been killed in the buffalo hunt along with Angelique’s horse, Michif. Both girls have been helping Angelique’s mother through a difficult pregnancy. As the time for the baby to arrive is near, Angelique’s father takes her mother to a neighbor’s for the delivery.
Angelique and Joseph are making angels in the snow when their father returns from the LaVallée’s where their mother is recuperating from the birth of their new sister. François LaVallée has been a good friend of Angelique, but now, if they spend much time together, they are teased by the other children. When Angelique and Joseph make their way on the frozen river to the LaVallée’s house, they are in trouble for their potentially dangerous journey. Angelique is reminded of her mother’s words not to “borrow trouble” when she worries about her mother’s health. François returns with them to their home so he come back with the pony. A nasty winter storm comes, but, during the night, Angelique’s father needs to take Thérèse to the doctor at the LaVallées. When the children wake, the adults have gone. Shortly after, Mennwi, Angelique’s father’s young horse, returns with a bridle but no people. Angelique is worried because they are the only ones who know that the adults are out in the storm. François decides to saddle his pony and attach a rope to Angelique’s horses so that together they won’t get lost in the storm. With François and his pony, Piskislees, in the lead, Joseph and the horse, Gurnuy, come across the sleigh tipped over in the snow. Mennwi is spooked and takes off with Angelique desperately hanging on.
With the help of the horses, Francois and Joseph pull the sleigh off Louis, Angelique’s father, and Thérèse. They are able to take them safely to the LaVallées. When Angelique doesn’t arrive, everyone is worried. Joseph decides to take his pony and go to her rescue. Angelique had jumped into a snowbank when Mennwi slipped on the road. She is nearly frozen and dreaming of angels when Joseph appears to her as an angel and helps her to safety.
The Angelique series has continued with realistic characters in believable situations. The beauty and excitement of a prairie is captured well as are the many dangers that come with a winter storm. The plot is simple to follow for the intended readers while also being interesting. There is one main storyline continued from the other books, but this book can be read and enjoyed on its own. A glossary of Michif words is included at the end of the text. Michif has evolved from French and aboriginal languages. The glossary includes the page number where the word is found, a translation of the word into English and a note about the word. This feature would be very useful for readers of any age. A bibliography and timeline are also included. These are useful additions which are found in each book of this historical fiction series.
Angel in the Snow, along with the other books in the Angelique series, are highly recommended for school, personal and public libraries. The series covers approximately one year in the life of the fictional Angelique. They are an excellent source of Canadian historical information for young readers.
A retired teacher-librarian, educator and Resource Based Learning Consultant, Deborah Mervold resides in Shellbrook, SK.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.