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Apples and Angel Ladders
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About the Author

Irene Morck is a Fitzhenry and Whiteside author.

Reviews

Irene Morck's Christmas stories are drawn from her father's experiences as the child of a Danish immigrant family struggling to survive in the 1920s on their farm in Alberta's central woodlands. Each of the six stories centres around an incident that makes Christmas memorable for Archie (who ages from nine to 16, with a jump to 29 in the epilogue). They range from making the spicy Danish cookies called pebbernodders (recipe given) and cutting paper angel ladders (directions given) to decorate the tree, to the agony of memorizing a piece to recite at the Christmas concert and the joy of choosing a gift from the Eaton's catalogue. This last was mitigated by the reality that Mama's egg money, which was used to buy Christmas presents, was often depleted by paying the expenses of the new baby that arrived almost every year. Each story is illustrated by one colour plate and several black and white spot illustrations in which Muriel Wood captures the warmth of the close-knit family united against the harsh conditions of their farm life. Because these gentle stories are long and full of the details that make social history so interesting, they seem best suited for reading aloud to family groups. The book's handsome production -- with its glossy paper, ribbon bookmark, and elegant endpapers -- makes it an attractive gift, possibly from grandparents with similar memories to share." - Barbara Greenwood, Quill and Quire "Many children today are far removed from the immigrant experience, but Apples and Angel Ladders by Irene Morck with illustrations by Muriel Wood, tells them what it was like for a Danish family celebrating its first Christmas in North America." - The Associated Press, Special Edition Holiday Package (1,500 daily AP member newspapers in the US) "This is a book you will want to gather the children together for and read to them during evenings in the weeks prior to Christmas...Irene Morck relates a compilation of Christmas stories based on her Danish father's years of growing up in a pioneer setting in North America. You will especially enjoy the paintings by Muriel Wood with children, as they will help bring to life the trials, tribulations and special holiday moments the Morck family endured from 1919-1939. Morck also includes the recipe for Pebbernodders, as well as the instructions for making angel ladders - two of the traditions passed along in the book." - The News-Sentinel, Knoxville, Tennessee "Irene Morck's stories of her father's memories of growing up in a Danish immigrant family in the woodlands of Alberta, were originally written for adults in Five Pennies: A Prairie Boy's Story. But they were so enjoyed by children, that this volume of Christmas stories from 1919-1939 was created for them. There is the joy of anticipation, choosing the one present from the T. Eaton Company catalogue; savouring the one apple of the year at the holiday concert. There is sadness - times were always difficult - one year skunks killed all the chickens, which meant there was no money for presents at all. Muriel Woods' illustrations convey the warmth and vitality of this indomitable family in the midst of poverty. There are instructions on making angel ladders and Pebbernodders." - Kingston This Week "Each story is illustrated by one colour plate and several black and white spot illustrations in which Muriel Wood captures the warmth of the close-knit family united against the harsh conditions of their farm life. Because these gentle stories are long and full of the details that make social history so interesting, they seem best suited for reading aloud to family groups. The book's handsome production -- with its glossy paper, ribbon bookmark, and elegant endpapers -- makes it an attractive gift, possibly from grandparents with similar memories to share." ---- Quill and Quire "Many children today are far removed from the immigrant experience, but Apples and Angel Ladders tells them what it was like for a Danish family celebrating its first Christmas in North America." ---- The Associated Press, Special Edition Holiday Package "This is a book you will want to gather the children together for and read to them during evenings in the weeks prior to Christmas...Irene Morck relates a compilation of Christmas stories based on her Danish father's years of growing up in a pioneer setting in North America. You will especially enjoy the paintings by Muriel Wood with children, as they will help bring to life the trials, tribulations and special holiday moments the Morck family endured from 1919-1939." ---- The News-Sentinel, Knoxville, Tennessee "Irene Morck's stories of her father's memories of growing up in a Danish immigrant family in the woodlands of Alberta, were originally written for adults in Five Pennies: A Prairie Boy's Story. But they were so enjoyed by children, that this volume of Christmas stories from 1919-1939 was created for them... Muriel Woods' illustrations convey the warmth and vitality of this indomitable family in the midst of poverty." ---- Kingston This Week

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