Gammy's Snow Queen
Perfect Bound Softcover
Gammy & the Snow Queen, we earnestly hope, will be the first in a series written by Esther R. Reaves for her grandchildren--as well as for children and grandchildren everywhere! In many cities and towns around the world, taking little ones to see Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker is an annual event. Excitement whirls around each performance, whether city or town, with local children always featured prominently in the ballet. There is a special longing to see the magic of the holidays reflected in the eyes of the youngest members of the family and a special joy getting dressed up for attendance at the holiday performance--jaunty velveteen suits for boys, and twirling, beribboned taffeta or velvet dresses for girls. For grandmothers, many dreams for their little ones are reflected in the magic of these moments. In Gammy & the Snow Queen, Ms. Reaves tells a story that embodies the love of an archetypical grandmother, one who not only hopes to project her own confidence into the future, but to express the depth and reach of her dreams for her granddaughter. Truly, the grandmother’s dream is the story that lies behind the frenetic attendance at so many performances of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker every year. “You dance with all the beauty and grace of any ballerina. You can be everything that you want to be,” the grandmother’s dream affirms. “I know, because I know you, and I believe in you with all my heart.” In her daily work, Ms. Reaves coordinates many staff and volunteers. So, too, this children’s book represents collaboration between Ms. Reaves and her granddaughter Kristen Yeung who provided the engaging illustrations (and direct inspiration), and with Linda Turbyville, a writer and friend, who has contributed her editing skill to the project. Enjoy! Happy Holidays!
She fell in with some other young people, who seemed to know where they were going. Asking everyone if they had seen Alyssa, she found herself more and more confused by her surroundings. And then, all of a sudden, she realized that she was backstage! And not just any back stage, she realized with a gasp. She was backstage at the Kennedy Center Opera House! Dancers dashed around her, looking for partners and friends, or searching anxiously for slippers and resin. Then, unexpectedly, someone grabbed Kristen by the shoulder. “Get dressed! You are late! Get Dressed!” Stunned, Kristen was taken into a dressing room. Three dressers worked on her, putting on makeup, fixing her hair, and everything else that needed doing. All of her protestations and explanations fell on deaf ears. The backstage crew thought she was Emily, the Snow Queen of this season’s performance. Both Kristen and Emily were of Chinese heritage. And both were the same size. Emily had such a long history of practical jokes that the crew simply assumed that this was but one more--though perhaps not as funny as Emily seemed to think. “Oh come on Emily,” one dresser said with irritation, “Give it up! We know who you are!”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR/ABOUT THE BOOK Esther R. Reaves is well-known to Baltimoreans, but not as an author. For over 30 years she has been an advocate for the homeless and the Executive Director of Manna House, Inc., an agency that six days a week, month after month and year after year, serves up food and provides critical services (clean clothing, hot showers, hygiene items, advocacy, and, most of all, a sympathetic ear) to the needy and homeless in Baltimore's inner city. Ms. Reaves is a person of enormous faith in the human spirit, possessing a fundamental optimism regarding the individual's ability to overcome adversity as well as our society's ability to triumph over the injustices that, at present, leave so many of our citizens vulnerable to the scourge of poverty. Since the loss of her husband and greatest supporter Earl Reaves in 19 90, Esther Reaves' five children and six grandchildren have provided her with much love, important insights and, perhaps most of all, many adventures. It may be that she felt a strong twinge of sorrow as the oldest, a beloved granddaughter named Kristen (and, not incidentally, the illustrator of this book), moved off to college last year, but, whatever the impetus for this project, the story, she says, seemed to write itself. Now, as Ms. Reaves approaches her 80th birthday, she occasionally (but always only briefly) contemplates retirement from her agency. But, having discovered the exciting world of self-publishing as well as the marvelous tools of online genealogical research, Ms. Reaves contemplates projects that will provide a personal legacy to family and many friends and supporters. With this charming fairy tale, she exhibits all the ability of a natural story-teller and, by the way, provides intriguing insight into widely shared dreams.
Perfect Bound Softcover
Sale Price $7.64