Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 30, 2022

Book Giveaway: CHRISTMAS FAIRIES FOR OUMA by Lindsay McDivitt

Lindsay McDivitt has written a new picture book, CHRISTMAS FAIRIES FOR OUMA and Illustrated by Katarzyna Bukiert and published by Familius on November 1st. They have agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US.

Just leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Let me know other things you did to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Lindsay and Katarzyna.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. If you want to make sure you don’t miss seeing that you won, please click “Notify Me of Follow-Up Comments by Email” box. I will leave a comment in reply if you win the book. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Christmas Fairies for Ouma follows the magical journey of a child’s card traveling 10,000 miles across the world to her grandmother in South Africa–from the hand of one kind stranger to another with NO name, no street and no stamps. Is it kindness or Christmas magic? Christmas Fairies for Ouma celebrates the love between a grandparent and grandchild and Christmas joy with gorgeous illustrations, hidden fairies on every page, and a heartwarming message of caring and connection.

The story is based on the author’s real life family “miracle.” It publishes November 1, 2022 and is now available for pre-order.

BOOK JOURNEY:

Like the lengthy journey of the homemade Christmas card in my story, this picture book’s journey was a very long one. It actually began when I was just seven years old. Christmas Fairies for Ouma is based on reality—a family tale in which my sister Tessa and I starred. As small children we immigrated to America with our mom and dad, leaving all our beloved grandparents behind in South Africa. I’m sure many people can relate to the loneliness of Christmas far from all your extended family.

In that era there were no video chats. Even long distance phone calls were far too expensive. We relied on feather light air letters—the letter and envelope all in one. That explains why our mother addressed our green construction paper card with only: Ouma, the city and South Africa. Not even her street!

Mom never dreamed we’d actually mail it! She gave us only Gold Bond stamps. Just small sticky “coupons” that looked like stamps. But mail it we did. With no real postage stamps.

Ouma means just grandmother. There were many, many Oumas in South Africa and no name on the card. But miraculously it reached our grandmother about three months later! And our small “miracle” passed into family lore, repeated often over the past fifty years.

Now a grandmother myself I know what that card must have meant to my Ouma. My own precious young grandson lives just minutes away from me. But it’s not difficult to imagine the devastation my Ouma and Oupa, and my Gran and Grampy must have felt. (My own dear daughter lives in Mexico City and soon marries a man from Peru. I hope against hope they’ll move to the States before having children.)

Many times I pondered what a sweet picture book our family story could make. But without any knowledge of what truly happened between the mailbox and my Ouma’s hands I was unsure of how to proceed.

Then a few years ago I happened upon research into the contagious nature of kindness. So many strangers surely handled our folded-up green paper with childish drawings. Like many of us during the worst of the pandemic I was already feeling enormous gratitude for our postal workers. Postal workers around the world must have somehow resisted tossing our card into the trash! I began my imagined tale of how our card made with love traveled across the world to my grandmother. I had my plot and I had a fun and intriguing refrain.

“Ruth the mail sorter spied Tessa’s card immediately.

No name. No street. And NO stamps!

This can’t go to Cape Town—it’s 10,000 miles away!”

I’m grateful to my agent Kelly Dyksterhouse (Tobias Literary Agency), Familius Books and artist Katarzyna Bukiert. Her lush and whimsical illustrations added the magic to our book. Seeing South Africa in the art is such fun for me. She also infused Ouma with a delightful modern sensibility and personality that I love.

The back matter in Christmas Fairies for Ouma includes an author note with more on the true back story, a glossary of terms and fun facts about South Africa and Christmas celebrations there.

LINDSAY’S BIO:

Lindsey McDivitt has authored biographies for children including A Plan for the People: Nelson Mandela’s Hope for His Nation and Nature’s Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story. Her first fictional picture book, Christmas Fairies for Ouma, is coming November 1, 2022! Lindsey is passionate about accurate & positive portrayals of older adults. Learn more at http://www.lindseymcdivitt.com and on her blog “A is for Aging.”

Lindsey has spent most of her life near the Mississippi River or the Great Lakes. She loves searching the shore for shells or stones, especially agates, and gazing up into tall trees, especially white pines. After eight years exploring marvelous Michigan, she now lives in Minnesota. You can find Lindsey at:

Lindsey’s website  https://www.lindseymcdivitt.com/

Blog http://www.a-is-for-aging.com

Twitter   https://twitter.com/AisforAging

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/mcdivittlindsey/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/aisforaging/_saved/ “A is for Aging”

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/A.is.for.Aging/

KATARZYNA BUKIERT’S BIO:

Katarzyna Bukiert enjoys drawing, painting, designing textile patterns, and ceramics, but her greatest passion is illustrating for children.

She lives in a beautiful medieval town in Poland and has illustrated many books for publishing houses in Poland, the USA, Switzerland, and India.

Lyndsay, thanl you for sharing your book and journey with us. You really have written a heart warming story and it even more heartwarming, since it is a true story. I love that you have this gorgous book to add to the treasure that will be passed down through all the generations in the family. Katarzyna art is perfect for the book. I hope other families will love your book and pass it on to others. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Such a great story—best of luck with this book!!

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  2. A story with lots of heart.

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    • Thank you Ellie!

      Like

  3. What a lovely story. And the illustrations are gorgeous. I subscribe to your blog by email.

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    • I also love the art! Thank you so much!

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  4. The postal workers always knew their neighborhoods, their neighbors and each other. We used to mail things to my Me’mere’ in Massachusetts with no more than “the last Trott house on Lancaster Road. And they always got there. Times were different and in those days, the Trott family lived on one side of the road, and Me’mere’ was the last house. I cannot wait to see how this happened! Great story line!

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    • I love YOUR story so much Linda! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Even with the inspiration of a family story, I imagine there were challenges in writing this, so congrats to the author! The illustrations look lovely, too. I’d love to be entered in the drawing. (And I’m a blog subscriber.)

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    • You’re so right Ilona! It took years to figure out just how. Thank you!

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  6. This sounds adorable and I’d love to read it to my kids. (I’m a subscriber.)

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    • Thanks for your kind comment Lindsay! (Love your name btw 😉

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  7. I love books about fairies, Christmas, and grandparents. Looks like a beautiful story with lovely illustrations!

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    • Awwww, thank you Karen!

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  8. This story is heartwarming and shows the good in people. The illustrations are so beautiful. I love that this is a true story being passed down through generations. I’m an email subscriber and share on tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

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    • We all need more reminders of the kind people don’t we? I appreciate your comment Danielle.

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  9. What a special back story! I subscribe.

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    • Thanks so much Hannah!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Can’t wait for this special story. The illustrations look so lovely, congrats to Lindsey and Katarzyna! 🙂
    Posting on Twitter. I follow this blog.

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    • You’re very kind Adi! Thanks so much!

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  11. Congratulations, Lindsay and Katarzyna! Your book sounds magical and is sure to inspire wonder in young readers. I can imagine many hurrying to write letters to their own grandparents. Posting on Twitter and a follower here.

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  12. What an incredible story!! Wow!! I can’t wait to read this book!!

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  13. So beautiful! Love the imagination! 🙂 Congratulations!

    Like


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