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list price: $12.95
edition:Paperback
published: Apr 2009
ISBN:9781897174401

Johnny and the Gipsy Moth

by Deannie Sullivan-Fraser, illustrated by HildaRose

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5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $12.95
edition:Paperback
published: Apr 2009
ISBN:9781897174401
Description

Johnny and his family have moved from the big city to Bishop Falls. Finally, he finds the courage to ask strangers to play. His worst fears are realized though, when the local boys make fun of him and his "fancy" clothes. The postman intervenes, handing Johnny a parcel. He brings it to his father who shows him a picture of a Gipsy Moth, a bi-plane, and hands him a white silk scarf. The rest, his father promises, will be a big surprise. And what a surprise it is! Shortly after, a Gipsy Moth comes in for a landing in a nearby field. It is piloted, he discovers, by his uncle, Arthur Sullivan, who takes him up on a great adventure. Johnny is no longer an outsider. What he does next, however, is what makes him a hero.

About the Authors

Deannie Sullivan-Fraser's is the author of a family musical, Time Shadows, where she wrote the play and the music. One of the songs, Making Tracks was recorded for Sesame Street. Two other songs, I Had a Place and You're my World have been recorded by the Ontario group, Arane. Deannie is taking her Masters in Atlantic Canada Studies at St. Mary's University in Halifax. She is currently writing her thesis, Home Medicine of Rose Blanche, Newfoundland. Deannie has also written articles for The Chronicle Herald and The Daily News and various other publications. She has worked as an associate producer, production assistant and researcher for CBC Radio's Mainstreet, a researcher for Vision's Reinventing Rituals, Marrying Well, Street Cents, Land & Sea and CBC special documentaries series, as well as historical feature film, Butterbox Babies. Johnny and the Gipsy Moth is based on an amazing event in her young father's life.

Author profile page >

HildaRose lives and works in Prospect Bay, Nova Scotia. In her daily life, she is Kathy Kaulbach—a designer and illustrator with a passion for clear communication. As HildaRose, she prefers to play as she works. She has illustrated many children's books including Baby's Lullaby and Kisses, Kisses, Baby-O!
Author profile page >
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
4 to 9
Grade:
1 to 4

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Reader Reviews

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Johnny and the Gipsy Moth

It is difficult to make new friends in a new town. It’s the early 1930s and Johnny Sullivan has just moved from the city of St. John’s to Grand Falls, Newfoundland. After watching the Morrow brothers playing in the lane for days, he finally gathers his courage to go outside and introduce himself. However, Johnny’s fine velvet jacket sets off the three Morrow lads who are dressed in hand-me-downs and worn out clothing. “Will ye look at the townie?” they taunt.

Then Johnny receives a package containing two white silk scarves, a letter and a photograph of the first Gipsy Moth to make an air-mail delivery to Newfoundland from Canada. Inspired, father and son create a model of this airplane, which Johnny proudly shows off to the Morrow brothers, only to be treated with further ridicule. Derision turns into respect, however, when a real Gipsy Moth, piloted by Johnny’s Uncle Arthur, makes a surprise stop on its mail route. Johnny is invited for a quick ride above the town which is witnessed by all the citizens of Grand Falls. After the plane lands, Johnny generously invites the awe-struck Morrow boys to try on his flight equipment. “Now, Master Johnny, I knows you to be a gentleman!” states Jimmy Morrow. It takes the Gipsy Moth to unite Johnny and the Morrow boys in friendship!

Author Deannie Sullivan-Fraser has written a charming story about a momentous event which happened to her father. The sprinkling of dialects enrich the conversations between the “townie” and those in the outports. Sullivan-Fraser’s vivid account of Johnny’s first flight experience helps readers to see, hear, smell and feel what it was like to be in the air in the Gipsy Moth.

HildaRose has incorporated photography, drawings and digital artwork in her illustrations. It is obvious that she has carefully researched the importance of the Gipsy Moth in Newfoundland’s history. Her artwork includes a Gipsy Moth model with accompanying instructions, an early photograph of the airplane, and a Newfoundland airmail stamp featuring a Gipsy Moth. Detailed and colourful cartoon-like illustrations enrich the text.

A quote on the back cover says that the author “hopes that her writing will inspire children to find and tell their own family stories.” It is to be hoped that Deannie Sullivan-Fraser’s fine tribute to her relatives will inspire readers and their families to explore and treasure their heritage, and perhaps to share it with others.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2009. Vol.32 No.4.

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