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At FriesenPress, we celebrate each and every book we help our authors publish. Here are some of our team’s recent favourites – happy reading!
All seems peaceful and quiet in the Yangambi Forest, but not for Oni. She misses Tata, her father. “A little girl needs her father!” the spirit animals agree. So, they secretly watch over Oni as she embarks on a long journey that is colorful, spiritual, and even sometimes dangerous. Walk, swim, and soar with Oni on her journey filled with rich Lingala vocabulary words and phrases. The ancient Bantu people of the Democratic Republic of Congo will speak to you as you linger inside the lushly illustrated rainforest’s pages. And you may stay as long as you want. “Mobembo na Yangambi!”
Even if you’re not an oenophile, chances are you know that Ontario’s wine industry produces some of Canada’s best bottles. In just a few decades, the wines crafted in the province have begun to claim their rightful place on the world stage, thanks, in part, to the pioneering efforts of the many women spotlighted in Sharing a Glass: Inspirational Memoirs & Memories of the Women Who Shaped Ontario’s Grape & Wine Industry. With their passion and expertise—as scientists, sommeliers, grape growers, winemakers, and more—these women overcame complex challenges in a fledgling agricultural industry that was dominated by men, leaving their indelible mark for the benefit of those who followed. Author Jennifer Wilhelm, who got her own start in the Ontario wine and hospitality sector as a young woman with an insatiable curiosity to learn, wanted to honour the nine women featured in this book by bringing their stories—in their words—to these pages. It is a written record of their profound accomplishments and the knowledge they are still sharing. Their passion and joy is palpable. Reading Sharing a Glass almost feels like sitting down to a good chat with friends, best enjoyed with your favourite Ontario wine. As the readers learn about these remarkable women, they’ll also gain a fascinating understanding about grapes, winemaking, and the evolution of the industry in Ontario, Canada, and beyond. Each chapter is completed with a series of tributes from their friends and colleagues, sharing their own anecdotes and appreciation for these women.
Sometimes when I am alone in the dark, I start to wonder what it will be like when I do not exist… We all have fears that are bigger than we are. Those fears do not need to stay so big. We can learn to give them to God who is so much bigger. This book teaches a simple mediation to help calm our moments of big fears.
Born in the UK and raised in the US, Terry Dance-Bennink found her way to Toronto as a university student in 1966. A sixties activist who never stopped, she became a peace advocate, civil rights campaigner, women’s rights defender, union organizer, adult educator, environmental activist, and democracy champion. Dance Through Time traces the author’s evolution from youthful Marxism to electoral politics to peaceful civil disobedience. As a spiritual seeker, Terry relies on her faith to overcome personal and political obstacles. Born a Catholic, she becomes an atheist during her Marxist years, then returns to progressive Christianity in the nineties, joining the United Church when she moves to Victoria, B.C. She eventually calls herself a Buddhist-Christian with no church address. A heart-breaking divorce, childlessness, breast cancer, and blindness challenge her, along with despair about the fate of the earth. But her belief in a power greater than fallible human beings—the “great mystery”— sustains her as she keeps pushing forward. In mid-life, Terry encounters “the man in her dreams,” her second husband, and builds a truly formidable career in both the non-profit and public sectors as an impassioned, spiritually informed advocate for adult education, proportional representation, Indigenous peoples, old-growth forests, and so much more. Seventy-five years later, Terry is still on the front lines to save B.C.’s ancient forests and combat climate change. Dance Through Time revisits the revolutionary potential of the sixties and celebrates the enduring power of political solidarity, forgiveness, and spiritual connection.
What can we do to cope with losing someone, whether through death or heartbreak? Where can we draw on inspiration or comfort when we’re at our lowest? How can we express ourselves in moments of difficulty? And what can we do to pay our privileges and blessings forward? The Ripple Effect suggests the power of poetry as an answer to all of these questions. Author Indiana Rotondo’s tight collection of sweet, free-verse, stylistically diverse poems includes odes to lost love and meditations on the joys of faith. Many of these poems are broad expressions of desire, gratitude, regret, and appreciation, making it both a compelling introduction to poetry as a genre and an inspiring and comforting collection to which anyone can relate. It is sure to inspire those who pick it up to follow what moves them, and to share in the joy that comes from pursuing their path with those around them. This is The Ripple Effect.
Courtney’s brother Bradley has autism. It can be hard for him to make friends because the other kids don’t always understand why he acts the way he does. His meltdowns can be scary, and he needs things like his iPad, headphones, and blanket by his side. Come get to know Bradley and learn what autism is, and how you could be better friends to the kids in your life who are different from you. My Brother Bradley is a simple, charming book designed to help young kids understand what autism is, and what it might look like in their classmates. Raising awareness helps us all understand the different ways that autism presents in different people. For kids who have autism themselves, this book shows them that they aren’t alone, and that there are other kids out there who are just like them.
Joseph Daniels narrates his family’s origins, beginning with their arrival from England among the 1820 Settlers that landed in Cape Town, South Africa. Starting with nothing except a plot of land and the promise of prosperity in the Dark Continent, his ancestors John Henry and Kathleen Daniels, build a legacy that will intertwine their European heritage and that of the Black, indigenous people of Africa. Generations later, their mixed-race descendant Joseph Daniels, born in the turbulent years leading up to Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, strives to adapt to an environment rife with racial contradictions, political tension, and violence. Joseph shares the tender, harrowing, and humorous moments of his family’s lives, set against a backdrop of Zimbabwe and South Africa’s rich culture and history. Starting with the clash of African kings in Southern Africa, Joseph’s multigenerational tale moves through European colonization, the Rhodesian Civil War, Zimbabwe’s independence, and Robert Mugabe’s long presidency. By the time Joseph comes of age in the 1990s, he must navigate the complexity of his mixed-race Coloured identity while seeking to establish his generational inheritance and legacy. An episodic novel that sweeps across the centuries, Once Upon a Time in Zimbabwe is replete with historical detail and unforgettable characters. At turns adventurous, romantic, thrilling, and heartbreaking, the story of Joseph Daniels and his family is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.
“When Grandma Was a Little Girl” is a hand-written and beautifully illustrated collection of reminisces of growing up on a farm on the Saskatchewan prairies in the mid-1900’s. Sit with author Joyce Anders Sproule as she immerses us in her childhood, and shows us what it was like for children to do chores, care for animals, tend a garden, go to school, play, and wonder about the world outside of the farm. The joys of dances, music, skating, and cloud-gazing -- as well as the dangers of close calls -- and the atmosphere of World War II are all remembered by the author and shared with today’s reader. Sproule captures the innocence, curiosity and bravado of childhood in a whimsical, heartfelt, and beautifully illustrated family memoir that is a joy to read with your children and grandchildren.