for The Christmas Coat by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve and Ellen Beier
In a story based on the author’s childhood, young Virginia is in need of a new winter coat—something her family can’t afford. Instead, she has to wait and see if there’s a coat in the “Theast” boxes—clothing donated from New England (“the East”) churches. And when the boxes finally arrive, there is! It’s made of animal fur, and Virginia longs for it. But because she is the minister’s daughter, she has to wait until the rest of the congregation families have chosen what they need. Inevitably, the coat is taken. To make matters worse, it’s taken by a girl whom Virginia can’t stand. Young Virginia’s authentically childlike feelings of disappointment and jealousy as she struggles to uphold the values of selflessness stressed by her parents are wonderfully realized. And her effort is sweetly rewarded, most notably when Christmas brings an unexpected surprise in this picture book that offers a realistic look at economic hardship in the context of a warm and loving family. Aspects of Native (Sneve is Sioux) culture are subtle elements of the story, and occasionally stand out in the illustrations. (Ages 4–8)
CCBC Choices 2012. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012. Used with permission.
Virginia and her brother are never allowed to pick first from the donation boxes at church because their father is the priest, and she is heartbroken when another girl gets the beautiful coat that she covets. Based on the author's memories of life on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.