CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 2 . . . .September 15, 2006
Loving Christmas, as most of us do, I am sure that I am not alone in constantly keeping my eyes open for quality books to share with the children at Christmas time. Ian Wallace’s The Huron Carol is a worthy addition to Canadian’s Christmas book collections. Wallace’s reverent watercolour illustrations prove a suitable accompaniment to the popular Huron Carol lyrics. Originally written in the old Huron language by Father Jean de Brébeuf circa 1641, in 1926 Jesse Edgar Middleton wrote an English version of the carol. Middleton’s English lyrics provide the primary text for this book.
At book’s end, Father Brébeuf’s Huron version of the carol is presented alongside an English and a French version of the song, with accompanying sheet music. The author also includes a brief history of the carol and of its songwriters. It is of particular interest to learn about Father Brébeuf. A Jesuit missionary, he wrote the first Huron dictionary. In his writings, he also provided a lasting picture of the traditional Huron way of life. In 1649, Father Brébeuf met an unfortunate end when he was tortured and killed by Iroquois attackers.
Gregory Bryan specializes in children’s literature and reading education at the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.
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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.