Take the time to reach for a book this summer

Elizabeth Cran
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What a haul of books for summer reading.

Two “The Lost Teachings” by Michael James Isaac illustrated by Dozay Christmas (Roseway Publishing, Fernwood, no price given), and Flight of the Griffons by Kate Inglis, illustrated by Sydney Smith (Nimbus, $19.95) are officially for children, but can be profitably and enjoyably read by anyone over the age of 10.  

And then there are two for very young children: Music is for Everyone by Jill Barber, also illustrated by Smith (Nimbus, $19.95), and Halifax Harbour, 1, 2, 3 written and illustrated by Yolanda Poplawska (Nimbus, $9.95).  

As a postscript, we received in error a book from 2010 — How the Cougar Came to Be Called the Ghost Cat, also by Isaac and Christmas (Roseway). Though too old to be reviewed here, this sad little story is well worth a mention.

The Lost Teachings is a little bilingual book (English/Mi'kmaq) which should be in every home, every church and every school.  It’s a sermon in itself, disguised as a myth.  

Eagle, as he flies, spots a magic bundle; within it is a message that says: “Here are seven teachings that will bring balance, harmony, and peace for those who share and practise them.

“Beware of Envy and Greed.”

How Eagle follows these directions, and with whom he shares them comprise the rest of the book. It has beautiful, suitable illustrations and is highly recommended.

Flight of the Griffons is a sequel to The Dread Crew, and, unlike most sequels, it’s better than its predecessor.  

Missy Bullseye, who is 13, is sent on a secret mission to find a missing pirate crew. She finds them not only scrounging for recyclable materials, but sabotaging pipelines, strip-mines, chopping down the “power lines to factory slaughterhouses” and generally making things difficult or even impossible for the Other Side.  

A great environmental adventure book, it may make you like unwashed pirates, too.

Music is for Everyone is most memorable for its rhyming verse by singer-songwriter Barber, as well as for its cute imaginative illustrations by Smith (who illustrated Flight of the Griffon in a completely different style). It has almost no words, but doesn’t need them. It’s great for those finding it hard to learn to read.

Lastly, Halifax Harbour 1, 2, 3 is a board book that could be about any harbour, like Charlottetown, Saint John or Sydney.


Elizabeth Cran, a freelance writer, welcomes comments or new books to review. Write her at her new address: 95 Orange St., Apt. 101, Saint John, N.B., E2L 1M5, or call her at 506-693-5498.

Organizations: Roseway Publishing

Geographic location: Fernwood, Saint John, Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Kate Inglis
    July 13, 2014 - 05:54

    Hello, Elizabeth! Better than the first—you just made my day. Thank you so much for reading and for sharing your thoughts on 'Flight of the Griffons'. Happy pirates. :) Kate