Review Blog

Oct 22 2010

Plum Puddings and Paper Moons by Glenda Millard

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ABC Books, 2010. ISBN 978 073332864.
Highly recommended. The Silk family prepares for Christmas with the usual swag of things to do, someone in the kitchen making plum puddings, others making paper chains, several getting a tree ready, but all redolent of Christmases past, full of fun and humour, families and safety. But this year, the eldest girl, Scarlett, works at a local cafe to earn money, and talking to the dishwasher, comes to realise that not all families are like her own. Here is a refugee, and in telling his story, Anik draws Scarlett into his world, one of fear and death, of leaving behind those that you love, of making the treacherous trip across the sea to a place of safety.
Perplexed at what to do, Scarlett makes black arm bands from her black tights and asks others to wear one too. Scarlett declares peace in the town of Cameron Creek, and impels everyone to walk for peace on Christmas Eve, to remember the reason that Christmas occurs, for thanking others for the peace we take for granted. A diverse array of people join her march, showcasing the range of people, age groups and backgrounds that make up today's Australia. The Silk family met in four previous Glenda Millard books will be well known to younger readers, and this the fifth in the series, brings a freshness that is most appealing. Older readers will enjoy this story as well as younger, as the theme is universal and timely.
Fran Knight

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