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A Prairie Boy's Winter [Paperback]

William Kurelek
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 10.99
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Book Description

Sept. 1 1973
Since its first publication in 1973, this book has sold more than 250,000 copies in nine countries and it has won more awards than any other Canadian book.


From the Hardcover edition.

Frequently Bought Together

A Prairie Boy's Winter + A Prairie Boy's Summer + A Northern Nativity
Price For All Three: CDN$ 30.57


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Product Description

Review

“A dazzling way to introduce kids (and grown-ups) to Canadian art…children will be fascinated”
Chatelaine


From the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

“A dazzling way to introduce kids (and grown-ups) to Canadian art…children will be fascinated”
Chatelaine


From the Hardcover edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Childs Point of View July 17 2001
Format:Paperback
This book gives an interesting overview of life in the northern regions of America (Canada) during the depression era. Included are favorite pastimes and games that the children played. This book was written with the youngest generation in mind but it will be enjoyed by the older generation for the memories it stirs. I'm of a middle generation and I enjoyed it because it gave me a closer look at my parents childhood.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Book After Three Decades, still Charms! Feb. 6 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Paintings are paintings, and homespun stories are just that. But combining both in a child's viewpoint is breath-taking. Beginning as a naive artist, Kurelek perfected his art form; putting details of his youth down in picturesque forms. Adding words to the paintings, is putting his works over the top. This is not the first book that I have of Kurelek; each one adds an inner depth to describe a passing part of his life, and probably, of yours.
Great to read one page at a time, every night, especially to children; look at each picture and discuss what is going on. A great learning tool at bedtime.
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Format:Paperback
`A Prairie Boy's Winter' has garnered numerous awards since its publication in 1973: Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Book; A New York Times Best Illustrated Book; and, A New York Times Outstanding Book. Support for the publication of this children's book was received from the Canada Council for the Arts. Financial support was received from the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program.

William Kurelek (1927-1977) was a Canadian realist artist (landscape painter and highly regarded illustrator of children's books) and writer--the eldest of seven children born to Ukrainian immigrant parents in Alberta, Canada. He received an arts degree from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, in 1949; studied at the Ontario College of Art; and, at the Instituto Allende in Mexico. In the 1950s, he lived in England, and from 1956 to 1958 his paintings were exhibited in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions.

His art and writings were based on his Ukrainian-Canadian roots, his childhood on the prairies, and his Roman Catholic religion (he converted from Ukrainian Orthodox in 1957). Since religion was a very real, important part of his life and a source of inspiration for his works, many of his paintings have titles with quotes from Biblical scriptures, and even his initial "W" on his artwork shows a cross.

In 1976, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. When he died a year later, he was Canada's best-known painter. His four children's books received 22 major national and international awards. By the time of his death, Kurelek had produced over 2,000 paintings.

His books have been published in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Holland and Greenland.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic in our house Feb. 3 2004
By "nxtmaster" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is simply a favorite of our family. We really enjoy reading about the hard prairie life and school yard fun that William Kurelek portrays on each page. The paintings wonderfully illustrate the daily life on prairie and each are complimented with a small story. This is one of those books that you can read to your children over and over again without getting bored. I just ordered a Prairie Boy's Summer, which I am sure will be just as delightful.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Award-winning classic children's book will delight readers young and old--and, not only on white winter days and evenings! Oct. 11 2008
By Yaroslava Benko - Published on Amazon.com
`A Prairie Boy's Winter' has garnered numerous awards since its publication in 1973: Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Book; A New York Times Best Illustrated Book; and, A New York Times Outstanding Book. Support for the publication of this children's book was received from the Canada Council for the Arts. Financial support was received from the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program.

William Kurelek (1927-1977) was a Canadian realist artist (landscape painter and highly regarded illustrator of children's books) and writer--the eldest of seven children born to Ukrainian immigrant parents in Alberta, Canada. He received an arts degree from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, in 1949; studied at the Ontario College of Art; and, at the Instituto Allende in Mexico. In the 1950s, he lived in England, and from 1956 to 1958 his paintings were exhibited in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions.

His art and writings were based on his Ukrainian-Canadian roots, his childhood on the prairies, and his Roman Catholic religion (he converted from Ukrainian Orthodox in 1957). Since religion was a very real, important part of his life and a source of inspiration for his works, many of his paintings have titles with quotes from Biblical scriptures, and even his initial "W" on his artwork shows a cross.

In 1976, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. When he died a year later, he was Canada's best-known painter. His four children's books received 22 major national and international awards. By the time of his death, Kurelek had produced over 2,000 paintings.

His books have been published in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Holland and Greenland.

Tundra has published two of Kurelek's books since his death: Fox Mykyta, the great Ukrainian folk tale (based on a Ukrainian fairy tale by Ukrainian poet and author Ivan Franko), which he illustrated with 72 drawings; and, The Polish Canadians, his series of paintings of the early struggles and courage of that immigrant group. Although his ambition was to paint the history of all of Canada's varied peoples, he succeeded in only in the following: Inuit, Irish, French-Canadians, Ukrainians, and Poles, as well as of Christians and Jews. The rock band Van Halen used parts of his painting The Maze (1953) on the cover of its 1981 album, Fair Warning. The Maze is available through libraries.

The National Film Board of Canada has put out a video, Kurelek, which is ten minutes in length and touches on the artist/writer's life.

Currently in the making is a feature-length documentary film, `William Kurelek: The People's Painter.' It has received initial funding from Bravo Television and the Canadian Television Fund for research and development. His widow, Jean Kurelek, her family, and Av Isaacs, Kurelek's art dealer, support the Kurelek film project.

Completion should be in early 2010. Award-winning Ukrainian-Canadian director Halya Kuchmij has thirty years' experience at the CBC and the National Film Board. She has won over 50 awards nationally and internationally. For a more detailed description of the film and Halya Kuchmij, please read the July 13, 2008 issue of The Ukrainian Weekly.

Kurelek's stories and artwork are based on real-life experiences--he grew up on a grain farm in Alberta and on a dairy farm in Manitoba. The main character in `A Prairie Boy's Winter' is named William (as is he); the vignettes narrated are also a repertoire from his past, making the book autobiographical in a real sense.

Each of the twenty vignettes ("his writing was always tied to his art") relates a unique winter's story of life on a farm on the Canadian prairie as experienced by eleven or twelve-year old William, and is colorfully illustrated on the facing page.

The opening vignette introduces the departure of fall (which was marked annually by the flight of crows as they escaped the harsh Canadian prairie winters) and the arrival of winter (witnessed by the first snowfall). We learn that during this transition of seasons, William was in his behavior like children all over the world.

Join him on his rounds as he feeds the farm pigs. Learn how to play a game of Fox and Geese--a game handed down to farm children through the generations. Learn why and how he helps make a hockey rink (even though he didn't like hockey or any rough sport) and experience some of the hockey hassles that ensue.

What question did William and his brother, John, often ask as they set rabbit traps? Learn why William enjoyed the drive across the frozen fields to the haystacks, but not the work after he arrived. Hauling hay was no easy task--how did William turn the job into a sport? What farm chore was limited to once a day since it was such an ordeal for both man and beast? Learn the best way to catch a chicken in the snow.

Although William didn't care for hockey or rink skating, there was a fun sport that he enjoyed--what was it? Which winter farm chore did William never really like? What would arrive, usually unexpectedly, every winter? What would William's father say in Ukrainian--to what was he referring? During the winter, what would William and his school friends really enjoy doing during school recess? Following a blizzard, how was milk delivered to the town five miles away? How was the snow different on balmy, late winter days? How did William know when spring was on its way? What were the two signs that told William that winter was finally over?

Five months later, winter's sojourn would end. William shares his tenth or eleventh Canadian prairie winter in a personal, poignant way--as a father might, passing on his childhood recollections to his kids. Relive winter's 1930s history on Canada's prairie as seen through the eyes of a special, sensitive young artist. Kurelek's artistic illustrations enhance and enliven the characters and vignettes.

Author and illustrator William Kurelek dedicated his book "for everyone who ever spent a winter on the prairies--and for all the others who wonder what it was like." Wonder will metamorphosize into marvel as you read, learn and experience William's life's adventures--for what city child or adult hasn't wondered about life on a winter prairie?

A companion book, award-winning `A Prairie Boy's Summer,' is a delightful way to continue sharing in William's adventures on the Canadian prairie--this time, during summer. Why not purchase both books at the same time?

A five-star recommendation for a classic children's book sure to be reread and enjoyed often by both young and old!

Addendum: Readers, you're invited to visit each of my reviews--most of them have photos that I took in Ukraine (over 600)--you'll learn lots about Ukraine and Ukrainians. The image gallery shows smaller photos, which are out of sequence. The preferable way is to see each review through my profile page since photos that are germane to that particular book/VHS/DVD are posted there with notes and are in sequential order.

To visit my reviews: click on my pseudonym, Mandrivnyk, to get to my profile page; click on the tab called review; scroll to the bottom of the section, and click on see all reviews; click on each title, and on the left-hand side, click on see all images. The thumbnail images at the top of the page show whether photos have notes; roll your mouse over the image to find notes posted.

Also, you're invited to visit my Listmania lists, which have materials sorted by subject matter.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reminder of the past Aug. 10 2007
By Richard S. Cybulsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Delightful in its simplicity but evocative in the imagery, this book is a treasure. It reminds me of the wonders of my youth growing up on the prairies. The scenes would have been just a few miles from my own family home place.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Childs Point of View July 17 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book gives an interesting overview of life in the northern regions of America (Canada) during the depression era. Included are favorite pastimes and games that the children played. This book was written with the youngest generation in mind but it will be enjoyed by the older generation for the memories it stirs. I'm of a middle generation and I enjoyed it because it gave me a closer look at my parents childhood.
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable history lesson Jan. 25 2013
By B. Spivey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
What an enjoyable little history lesson this is! I'd never heard of it when I bought it from a used book store, but I instantly recognized that it would be a great book for our Kindergarten year of homeschooling (suitable for the next few years as well!). We've just finished it and indeed- it was perfect. We broke it into several days to keep his attention fresh, but he begged to do "one more" (it's broken into 20 little topics/pages). Each topic is simply and charmingly illustrated- so much more special because the artist is also the author. You can tell the paintings are right from his memory.
This is now a jewel in my collection, and will be cherished years! Looking it up now, I just learned there is also A Prairie's Boys Summer- I'm ordering now!
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