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This new edition of Silver Threads, first printed in 1996 and winner of the 1995 Taras Shevchenko Writing Award, allows readers a renewed access to a beautiful story. Anna and Ivan escape their oppressive lives as poor farmers in Ukraine and immigrate to Canada just before the First World War. The couple work very hard clearing their land and building their home in the Prairies. When war is declared, Ivan volunteers for the army, but he is imprisoned in an internment camp for "enemy aliens." Anna survives on her own, though she is threatened by a government official who tells her she will lose her land if it is not cleared in time. As if by a miracle, Ivan returns home on Christmas Eve. He is guided by the shining Christmas tree, whose branches glisten with the silver threads of a spider's web.
The detailing and vividness of the illustrations by Michael Martchenko bring the settings of story to life, from the lush fields of Ukraine to the dark stumps of the new homestead in the Prairies. Anna and Ivan, the two main characters, have expressive faces and their traditional clothing is emblematic of their Ukrainian origins. Anna's red babushka is often the focal point of the artwork, whether covering her blond tresses or used as a colourful tablecloth for the Christmas Eve dinner. The evocative use of words and illustrations make this story shine.