Book Notes: Our Own Roxane Salonen's Installment in a Children's Christmas Book Series



Young readers who love to travel and learn about other parts of the USA will enjoy the “12 Days of Christmas” series, which features a different state in each book. contributor Roxane Salonen recently penned The 12 Days of Christmas in North Dakota, about her own home state.

“It was great fun putting it together, pulling from different sites around our state, and uncovering some of the most interesting jewels on the prairie,” Roxane noted. “The idea of the series is that a cousin from out of state comes to visit the in-state cousin during Christmas, and the two go on all sorts of adventures (12 days’ worth). Then the cousin who is visiting writes to his/her (mine is a girl) parents to tell them all the things she’s experiencing. I really enjoyed being part of this project and am excited to see kids of all ages discover North Dakota through it — for the first time, or different facets of it anew.”

Piper’s letters to her parents describe how she and her cousin Henry visited the zoo, saw the world’s largest Holstein cow (made of fiberglass), and toured such places as Fort Union Trading Post, Devils Lake, the Badlands and Standing Rock Reservation, collecting all sorts of interesting memories and souvenirs along the way. At the end of the book you’ll find some fun facts about the state and a list of famous people who hail from North Dakota.

Roxane observes, “Though it isn’t a religious book strictly speaking, I was super happy that this series (it is a series, done by Sterling Children’s, a subsidiary of Barnes and Noble) uses the word ‘Christmas’ (not ‘Holiday’) in its titles. And I sneaked in a little Catholic piece in one of the pages as you’ll see (Assumption Abbey).”

Piper writes to her family about the trip to Assumption Abbey, “I was curious what real monks look like. Turns out they are pretty much like everyone else. The brothers here in Richardton don’t just sit around and pray all day. They also stay busy making crafts and handmade products to help the abbey flourish.” What a simple way to evangelize!

The books in this series are a wonderful way to help your children get to know their home state as well as states where family members and friends live.

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Copyright 2017 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS
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About Author

Barb Szyszkiewicz is a wife, mom of 3 young adults, and a Secular Franciscan. She is editor at Barb enjoys writing, cooking, and reading, and is a music minister at her parish and an avid Notre Dame football and basketball fan. Find her blog at FranciscanMom and her family’s favorite recipes with nutrition information for diabetics at Cook and Count.

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